Many old cities are built around a wide meandering river and Valencia was no exception. Until terrible floods in 1957 that is. The city decided to divert its main river to the south and hence was left with a huge swathe of land directly around the old town and through the city centre. What Valencia decided to do with the land is a miracle in the modern age, choosing to build a park rather than a motorway, car parks or more buildings. The result is simply stunning and as a tourist visiting the city, you can see how the Valencians love their city park, whether running, walking the dog, working out, cycling, playing games, reading, admiring the orange trees or rose bushes or listening to music. We stayed next to the park near the opera house and for our week in Valencia the park became the connector to different parts of the city, whether it was the old city gates, the new city of the arts and sciences or the gardens. A lovely walk back to the hotel one evening we found a crowd building and the Valencia Orchestra setting up for a concert in the park. Anyone could join and just take a seat. We sat on the wall next to a lovely local couple who were very talkative (despite my lack of spanish!) and they shared their programme with us. By the way, there is a nice cafe under shady trees beneath the Palau De La Musica
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