In Valencia we had a walk-up flat with an ascent of 74 steps, up a spiral staircase from the cobblestone street below. When were we ever happier?
Inside, the apartment had widows on two sides, with wonderful light and cross-breezes. Located deep within the medieval heart of the old city, the apartment was generously spacious with high ceilings and beautiful oak floors. It had a spare bedroom, appropriate for a child or two, that we were able to use as a kind of oversize walk-in closet for our clothes. Not least of all, it had a small but very functional kitchen with a nice window over the sink, and a lovely big dining table, convenient to the kitchen, under a large south-facing window.
From our front door, it was a short walk to any of Valencia’s historic landmarks. The narrow streets of the old quarter are as charming as any we’ve seen on our travels in Europe.
The century-old Mercado in Valencia is beautiful, well-stocked with local produce, meats and cheeses, reasonably priced, and not a bit touristy.
Some of Valencia’s historical sites predate those of many other European cities. It has Roman ruins, for example, and massive 13th Century Moorish city gates and preserved portions of the old city wall.
Those 74 steps up to our apartment might sound tedious, but they were not. The spiral configuration took our minds off the climb. The stairs actually gave us the best, most consistent exercise we’ve had on all our travels, which was a good thing in its own right.
If all of this — the long spiral staircase, the airy peaceful apartment, the charms of old Valencia — sounds like a prescription for romance, well, it really was.
We will always fondly remember our week in Valencia.