Travel

A weekend away in Valencia – Part I

I’ve said many many times before that money spent on traveling is money well spent. You buy a ticket to a place you’ve never been to before, you also buy wisdom, fun, new experiences and future memories you’ll keep close to your heart.

At least that’s always my goal when I click Skyscanner’s “everywhere” options for cheap plane tickets!!

That’s how the boy and I picked Valencia for the long weekend of May 1st. It was close, it was cool, it was (relatively) cheap. Did we enjoy? WE ABSOLUTELY DID and I can recommend Valencia to anyone looking for a sunny destination not too far from most places in Western Europe.

Valencia is a really pretty city with great buildings and big wide avenidas with palm trees that made me feel like we are in Havana, Cuba.

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The place is sunny (obviously) and has a beach (duh), but these are not the only highlights. It’s also a place with welcoming people, great places to eat and drink and an overall vibe that’s very close to that of Athens or Rome (if you’ve ever been to any of these places). I really felt like home from the moment we stepped out of the metro (which is really the easiest way to get from the airport to the city. Once you land, follow the signs to the airport’s metro station where you will also find a tourist office. Just ask them to sell you a card topped up with the exact fair from and to the airport and you’ll be set. I would not recommend buying tickets for transportation within the city if you’re only staying for 2 days. The bus ticket costs 1.5 euros and we really only used it the day we wanted to go to the City of Arts and Sciences and to the beach.

We stayed at Colón, a very central area that I would totally recommend. It might not be as dreamy as leaving in Ciutat Vella (the Old City), but it’s definitely a great neighbourhood as it’s close to so many interesting areas full of life, bars and restaurants!

Speaking about Ciutat Vella, this is where our exploration started visiting all the touristy attractions – including the Mercat Central, Valencia’s Central Market. In general, I love food markets and I make sure to visit them every single time I travel somewhere. I love watching food, watching people buying and selling food, watching people enjoy food, everything really. The Market is a really great place to spend a couple of hours – trying different juices for 1 Euro a glass (definitely go for the orange juice – Valencian oranges are uber-famous), buying chocolate treats and photographing sea food.

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Do look out for the sea food section, not only delish, but totally Instagram-able as well 🙂
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Have you ever seen a more impressive bacalao???
Outside the Market there is also plenty of things to do. Eat street food, buy souvenirs, wander the narrow streets of the Old City or make a pit stop at a tapas place for a bite and a glass of Rioja (after which we literally took a 3-hour nap as we had woken up at 5am to catch our flight!)

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In the evening, we went for a stroll at the Russafa neighbourhood, which is full of little bars and tapas restaurants – just pick anything with a terasse and cold beer, the rest will follow pretty easily.

That was our first day in Valencia. A pretty great Saturday if you ask me. Part II of our trip coming up soon 😍

Valencia mini-guide:

Where to eat: After your visit to Mercat Central, try the street food that you will find parked right outside the main entrance of the market – think Mediterranean cuisine, lots of vegetables, olive oil, but also fried croquetas and rice dishes that are just heavenly. If you fancy sitting at a proper table, then pay a visit to La Rentaora Bodega. 

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Being in Valencia, you should also definitely try horchata, especially on a warm sunny day (even if you’re not a milk lover – I definitely am not – you should give it a try!!!)

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Where to drink: Russafa has really a huge number of low-key bars where you can enjoy a cold beer on a warm Valencian evening. I was a little bit too tipsy that night to take pictures (regretting this now, but hey, that’s life!!), but you can find cool recommendations here.

Where to shop: You should totally pay a visit to El Corte Inglés, Valencia’s biggest and most renown department store. It’s really convenient that they are open also on a Sunday, so do not hurry if you feel like there is not enough time to do everything on Saturday. Most shops on Calle Colón – one of Valencia’s main shopping streets – are also open on Sunday. Don’t forget to pay a visit to Zara and Mango as the Spanish brands are usually cheaper in Spain! (Not too much cheaper though, something in the range of 5-10 euros – so no stress there either!!)

Life · Miscellaneous and interesting

Checking in

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Source: unsplash.com

A month passed between my last blog post and today – a full month, 31 days, maybe 32, I’m not sure any more to be honest. I was so busy at work that I didn’t have time to think, let alone travel, eat at fancy restaurants, go to cute cafés or take pictures. And the few fun things I did, I rarely thought to capture on camera.

But I’m back!!! Not that work is less or that I have more time, but I do have a reinvigorated will to do more things. I’ve started volunteering! I’m looking for new fun stuff to learn on Coursera. I’m flying to Venice this weekend! I’m planning the concerts I’m seeing at Werchter this summer! There are a million exciting things happening and although time going by is the thing that stresses me the most in this life, I just can’t wait!!!

Leaving you with a tune today – I hope you are all happy and healthy, preparing for a great long May 1st weekend (or not-it really does not matter as long as you are happy and healthy!!)

Life

The big step

The decision was taken last night, the boy and I are moving in together.

To keep this sane and to avoid totally freaking out (which is my first reaction if I really think about this) I do two things: 1) trying to approach the move as having a new flatmate whom I coincidentally happen to adore and have sex with; 2) spending hours on Pinterest looking for a blue nightstand (check all my Pinterest boards here)*.

Moving in together is scary to me, mostly because I’ve never done it before. I’ve spent a fair amount of time living with other people, boys and girls, but never with a partner. And I really don’t know what to expect, hence my somewhat “reserved excitement” for the whole thing.

Many things can go wrong in flat sharing. Imagine if the person at fault is your better half…..Do I sound too pessimistic about this???? Could be, but I’ve always been this rational/realistic/cynical (depending on your view point) person keeping everyone’s feet on earth while they are trying to fly.

I’m actually super happy this is happening 🙂 I believe it’s a big step in every relationship deciding to really allow someone into your everyday life. I know a lot of people don’t see it like that. For some, it’s practical reasons (Hey, I found this great 1-bedroom apartment at …(enter super hip area) and it’s soooooo cheap if we share!!), for some it’s pure romanticism (Omg, I love you so much, I don’t want to spend another minute apart), for some it’s just..meh (OK, why not). For Greeks though, it’s still a big deal. And for a Greek girl like me, an even bigger one.

I like my boy very much. I think we’re gonna have some serious fun. I’m super excited about having someone so close to me share my anxieties and fears about real estate. I believe it’s going to be an amazingly rich experience, I’m going to learn so much about me and life in general and I’m going to be a better person because of it. The relationship is going to be better because of it.

I also have to devise time and hide-outs  to wax weird parts of my body. Or watch re-runs of Gilmore Girls. But that’s a small price to pay 🙂

*I have a beige bed and this is pretty much all I know about the colour palette of our future bedroom. Ah yes, I also have a soft pink bedside lamp. Which means Pinterest comes in very handy when trying to get an idea about how I can combine colours and materials. Pinterest is seriously my favourite social medium EVAH. Here are a few of my picks (click on the pictures to see all sources):

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Life

I’m woman and I like it 

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Go Newtown Fire Station! (pic taken from @unionsaustralia twitter account

Today’s International Women’s Day and we’re all celebrating here at worthlivinit HQ (by “all” I mean me, my flatmate and my boy)!!!!!

Being a woman is actually an achievement on its own. Having to go through so many weird things in life, from getting our period to having our positions as leaders being questioned all the time (plus wearing heels – what’s the deal with that?) (actually, I looooove heels), makes “the fair sex” sound like the biggest understatement since the beginning of time.

My biggest influence as a woman has been my mother. She is an amazingly strong woman, who always stressed to me the importance of speaking my own mind, listening to others, never let an opportunity go to waste, and also take pride in my decisions and choices and stand by them. She went to university (which was not a given in her time and for girls coming from her background), she is more independent and open-minded than most people my age, she never told me “no” whenever I asked for money to study stuff, although she more than often told me “no” when it came to buying 150-euros trainers to go to school (and this was such a great lesson).

My mother is not very artsy, yet she insisted I finish my music studies even when I wanted to drop. My mother has never lived abroad, and yet she gave me everything I needed (money, time and all kinds of support) to enable me live in London and then Brussels. My mom’s heart aches a little every day because I’m far away, yet she has always put my happiness first and has never asked me to return back home.

So, my mom is one of my biggest female role models. And Beyoncé (DUH!!!!)

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On this amazing day, there is nothing I would like to say louder than that: BELIEVE IN YOURSELVES. Women have conquered so much throughout history and they never gave up. And we should never give up. Never listen to anyone that tells you that you cannot do it or “you’re not good enough for it”. Everything is on the tip of our fingers and the world is our oyster.

Here’s to all the strong women in our lives.

P.S. Today’s also my little brother’s birthday. Happy birthday kitsoulino mou, you’re the person I love the most in this world and I wish you only the best from the bottom of my heart.

P.S. My mom doesn’t speak English and she won’t really get what I’m writing here, so let me do this shortly in Greek: Μανούλα σ’αγαπώ, είσαι μια αστείρευτη πηγή έμπνευσης και δύναμης για μένα και κάθε μέρα που περνάει σκέφτομαι πόσο ευλογημένη είμαι που έχω εσένα μάνα.