A Livable Life

Tour of Turia, Valencia, Spain

 Bicycle tour in the City of Science with Valencia Bike Tours. 

Bicycle tour in the City of Science with Valencia Bike Tours. 

 The bat is the symbol for Valencia. 

The bat is the symbol for Valencia. 

When you take-on a walkabout attitude you consider possibilities that would otherwise never be realized. The world is a big place and anywhere could be your next destination, your next tour, your next rental, or your next home.

My always planning our next home husband was very excited about our visit to Valencia, Spain. Keith has read several articles that recommend Valencia as a top-ten livable city.

Huffpost identified Valencia as it’s first choice of “11 Of the Greatest Cities for Living Abroad In 2016”

“According to the Urban Europe report, this coastal city is currently experiencing a bump in tourism that tips its hand as a charming place to be. You’ll find cheap rent, great food and glorious beaches here, too.”  

Those items are definitely on my next-settle-down-home list. Food. Affordable. Beaches. Culture. Check, check, check. 

 A new 2010 bridge across the Turia river parkway.

A new 2010 bridge across the Turia river parkway.

 Street art in the old part of Valencia by "Juliea"

Street art in the old part of Valencia by "Juliea"

After driving through the countryside from Madrid to Valencia, we settled into our Airbnb. It was situated just outside the old part of town and an easy walkable distance to most of downtown. First we checked out our new kitchen, then we took a walk in the neighborhood. 

The nearby Turia River Parkway is a beautiful, prominent part of the city and stretches from the rice fields in the north to the Mediterranean Sea in the south. In 1958 there was a torrential flood and the Turia River, that ran through the middle of the city, caused such devastation that Dictator General Fransisco Franco decided to route the river around the city and make the river bed a parkway. People still hate Franco, and refer to the park as the Turia River even though it includes gardens, trails, sports fields, bridges to the ancient city center and the new City of Arts and Sciences.

 Old Boabab trees in one of the Turia gardens. 

Old Boabab trees in one of the Turia gardens. 

We walked the Turia River and took a tour with the Valencia Bike Tours. After a few day’s visit, I can see why Valencia is listed as a wonderful place to live.

Keith now wants to buy an apartment in Valencia and make it our home. I’m not sure if I’m ready to move to Spain, but this does help me think about what kind of place makes a life livable? 

I can list at least ten good reasons why I could consider living in Valencia, Spain.

Walkable

Valencia is walkable and bike-able. Dedicated bike trails roll throughout the city. People respect walkers and cyclists. Stepping into a green crosswalk isn’t a life-threatening experience. Foot and bike trails meander throughout the town and take you to the Mediterranean Sea. We left our car in the garage and walked everywhere. 

 An old 10th century bridge crossing the Turia river parkeway. 

An old 10th century bridge crossing the Turia river parkeway. 

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Art

It has a very ancient, historic city center with a culture connected to its past. Old and new development thrive together. There is urban art, and art museums both challenging accepting contemporary views of art. I like art history museums and art galleries.   We spent over three hours at the IMAN Museum of Contemporary Art looking at abstract impressionism. 

 Valencia has it's own beer "Turia". 

Valencia has it's own beer "Turia". 

Afordable

Food, housing, and entertainment are affordable on a Calfornia income. The US dollar is strong against the euro. The symphony, concerts, live music, groceries, beer, good wine, movies, and more are at a fraction of the cost.  It reminds me of coastal boardwalk area of Venice Beach, only at ½ the speed and ½ the cost. We stopped at a few real estate office windows to look at what rentals and affordable housing in apartments and condominiums.

 Fresh food at 1/3 the cost of California. 

Fresh food at 1/3 the cost of California. 

Climate

A Mediterian climate makes for easy outdoor living.   We were there in winter and we took an afternoon walk on the beach. The air was clear and the sky was blue with a blustery breeze keeping things clean. Comfortably walking on the beach in December - that's for me!

Food

There is an amazing food culture, casual, accessible, inexpensive. We visited the central market in the old part of town, and it was all fresh and affordable. We made a few meals and ate out. Buying food for cooking at home, or eating out, is fresh and affordable.

 The big eye is an IMAX theater.

The big eye is an IMAX theater.

Access

Public Transportation is plentiful and easy. We drove into the city but there is no need for a car in the city. Residential areas are mixed with retail areas and the Metro system available, frequent and inexpensive. Our grocery store was two doors down. 

Clean

Clean air, clean streets, clean beaches, it was a very comfortable urban setting. Clean is good.

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Music

Cultural events are plentiful, from maintaining a symphony, zoo, opera, live jazz, and musical events, close, available and inexpensive.

 Home of the Valencia Symphony. Concert tickets start at 10 euros (about 12 dollars.)

Home of the Valencia Symphony. Concert tickets start at 10 euros (about 12 dollars.)

 Good food is a lifestyle value. 

Good food is a lifestyle value. 

Beach

The city is connected to outlining countryside. You can walk or bike to a clean, beautiful white sand Mediterranean beach. There is a boardwalk nearby where there are numerous places to sit and have a beer, a sandwich, or ice-cream.

Only one thing is missing - family. 

The big part of walkabout is being open to possibilities, and I’m not ready to decide where to buy our next house. But who knows where the road will take us and where we will land? 

The walkabout continues... next stop Deltebre, Spain.