I decided for my birthday I needed a long weekend on a beach and to see an aquarium, and two places I’ve been wanting to visit came to mind right away: Monaco and Valencia. We were leaning towards Monaco but were having a hard time finding a hotel; after several hours of research, I found a bit of information that explained all and turned our sights to Valencia: the prince of Monaco was getting married that weekend. For a country of only one city no longer than a mile long having a royal wedding on my birthday, we weren’t getting in.
So Friday we took a plane to Valencia. The air there is so humid and warm that it was uncomfortably sticky. Admittedly that day didn’t put me in a great mood, but we got into our room at luxurious Las Arenas Hotel situated right on the beach (hey, I can splurge for my birthday if I want). We checked out the pools and the beach before going to L’Oceanografic‘s (the aquarium) Submarino restaurant, aptly named for residing underwater. The earliest reservation for the restaurant was 9 p.m. though, so we ate late. And a private party was in progress, which was a bit uncomfortable. However, the food was superb (as one would expect from a swank eatery). The round room is surrounded by a large aquarium made to look like you were seeing the small lake it resided in. I was saddened that was what they had done (instead of making it like those glass tunnels aquariums have for people to walk under and by the fish), but that was minor. Worth eating at if you want good fancy fish meals!
On Saturday we took the bus back to the aquarium (learned our lesson from walking the day before), and spent half a day snapping photos of sea life, eating at the other restaurant on the premises, and seeing the dolphin show. Overall, it is a good aquarium, but I have visited better. The layout and architecture are unique. Afterwards we stopped by a small shopping complex “across the street”.
Sunday was our beach day, and it mostly rained and whipped up a sandy storm. Luckily, every morning we woke up early to hit the beach before everyone else and got in a lot of swimming in the Mediterranean. With the amount of cloud coverage (weather.com you liar!) our skin was saved from burning though, so it al worked out. A renaissance type festival was taking place on the other side of the hotel wall, so we perused that and ate some tasty food. I drank a TON of orange juice while we were there too, it was so yummy!
Before our flight back Monday afternoon we took one more dip in the sea for extra crusty salty goodness, then took the tram all the way back to the airport (a nearly direct shot, great layout). We never really saw downtown Valencia, which is our normal “vacation” style (to see everything is as little time as possible). A great relaxing vacation (even with a few little stresses here and there, it was more relaxing than most trips).