Spirit of Discovery blog
When the Bridge team called me at 0600 it was clear it was going to be another beautiful day with light winds – always the sort of phone call one prefers prior to arrival rather than one telling you it’s blowing a “hooley”. At 0700 the pilot boarded and then it was a case of weaving away between the breakwater, harbour buoys and then ships with overhanging cranes. The city berth we were given is a very “tight” approach and very precise navigation is required. As we approached the berth it was then a case of a 90’ swing and then “parallel” park. This fantastic ship is so manoeuvrable and we can spin her on a “sixpence”.
We were alongside by 0745 and ready for guests to proceed ashore at 0805. Valencia is Spain’s 3rd largest city after Madrid and Barcelona, and was founded as a Roman Colony in 18 BC. Situated on the banks of the Turia, on the east coast of the Iberian Peninsula its historic centre is one of the largest in Spain with approx 169 miles. The collection of ancient monuments, diverse scenic sites and cultural attractions makes Valencia one of the country’s most popular tourist destinations for Spaniards and World travellers.
With 8 tours on offer whether the City Tour On Foot, by coach, the “Flamenco in Valencia” or “Vall d'Uixó & San Jose Caves” there was something for just about everyone.
I took off on my bike again over the lunchtime period and following the dedicated cycle paths. Spain is very geared up for cyclists and I headed initially for the coast, following the line of the beach for about 5 miles. I then turned in-land and using “Google Maps” headed for the park situated on the former bed of the River Turia which was diverted after a flood in 1957. It’s a beautiful park with many attractive gardens & bridges and the very impressive Museu de les Ciències de Valencia (City of Arts and Sciences museum) which includes an aquarium, planetarium, opera house, concert hall and IMAX cinema. It is considered one of the 12 treasures of Spain I also stopped at the futuristic “Assut de l'Or Bridge” – a dazzling white single-pylon cable-stayed bridge, designed by Valencian architect and civil engineer Santiago Calatrava, and completed in December 2008. (photos of the area attached).
With everyone on board by 1800 we sailed shortly afterwards and our incoming Captain Stuart Horne took the ship to sea and it was clear that he would easily adapt to a new ship with podded propulsion.
Captain Julian Burgess
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