Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Mediterranean Sea

With the Mediterranean Sea in our back yard, we have spent many days enjoying the sea.  The Port of Valencia is the 5th busiest container port in Europe, and the largest on the Mediterranean Sea.  Valencia has historically been a wealthy city because of it's large port.  You can see the activity of the port in the distance while at the beach.  The beach is expansive with a nice boardwalk containing restaurants and shops.   We are enjoying the cleanliness of this beach.  Did you know Mediterranean Sea is more salty than the average salinity of the ocean?  We noticed during our first visit to the beach and it was confirmed at the Oceanarium that we were right.

Before we made it to the beach, we had to have appropriate beach gear.  So, on our first day we picked up two sand buckets & shovel sets as well as paddles & a ball for Bobby and I.  We all had fun playing on the beach.  Both kids love the sand and the water.  There is a very gradual slope out to the sea so it does not get deep fast  We love jumping over the waves, running away from the water as the waves hit, and digging big holes for water to fill in. 

You can see the boardwalk and shops in the distance.

Since it is such an easy walk to the beach, it has been an easy excursion for me and the kids when Bobby needs to work undistracted.  We have gone a couple of times just the three of us.  On one occasion we ate a burger place for lunch before heading home.  Another day we went to the playground first and then went to the beach.  During the walk, I noticed a lot of police officers in the area.  We had to walk pass a barricade with many police officers manning the area.  I saw that they were checking cars with mirrors as they entered a building.  There were armored police trucks going back and forth on the street.  There were police on Segways, horses, walking, and in cars.  On the way home, it was just as intense with the addition of lots of people dressed to the nines.  I finally asked someone on the sidewalk if they knew what all of the commotion was about.  They informed me that the Prince of Spain was coming to present an award.  We didn't see the Prince, but it was cool to be in all of the action.  We watched on our balcony for around an hour to see if we would see his car pass, but we did not.
The playground near the beach is very large with a zipline, a tire swinging see-saw, little play houses, swings, and more.  It's a great place to let the kids play.  Lately they are having so much fun playing together too which is nice.
One night we grabbed Burger King and had a picnic on the beach while the sun set.  Now, just to clarify, we had to do Burger King because restaurants close from about 5 - 8 pm every day.  They open for dinner closer to 9 pm which is usually just too late for us.  Amelie now calls it King's Burger.  We not only got a show of a beautiful sunset, but we saw fireworks too!  

The first day we rented our bikes, we rode the 4 km along the beach and then beyond.  Riding along the beach allowed to see the different restaurants as well as the numerous sandcastles built by gypsies.  I will need to take a picture at some point as they are really impressive.  One is of The Last Supper, one is a castle with Sponge Bob and a horse on it...I know a picture would be better than my descriptions, and I will have to pay them some money so I can take one. ;)  As we left the beach area we went on a dirt road past fields and farmers and smaller homes.  We then rode back to the beach area and ate dinner.

We now have a better helmet for Amelie that fits and doesn't fall off the back of her head.  This picture was taken in front of a small beach chapel along a river that ran into the ocean.
We love Valencia.  We are enjoying the city, the beach, and the bikes.  :)

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