MY ERASMUS PRO EXPERIENCE #4
#ErasmusPro is the new type of Erasmus designed to promote long-lasting professional training experiences. Thanks to the project "WAVES - Sail towards your future" of APRO Formazione, Francesca, Carmen and Ludovica are experiencing their #ErasmusPro in Valencia for 6 months, from January to July 2019. Each week, in turn, they will tell us how they are living this experience.
In the first article I talked about the days before departure, about our arrival and my first impressions of Valencia. Today instead I want to tell you about my first visit of the city.
The day after the arrival, normal people are tired because of the trip and prefer to stay at home to rest or to realize that they must completely change their habits. WonderFrancesca, SuperCarmen and CatLudo, the new heroines of the city, can not do that because crime never sleeps! We therefore woke up early, had a quick breakfast, a shower, took a map, and were ready to tour the city.
The first monuments we saw were Plaza de la Reina, Plaza de Ayuntamiento, that is, the square where there is the Valencia town hall, and the cathedral.
“In the middle of the journey of our life” we found ourselves in a dark forest, with very special buildings and monuments, but we did not have any idea of where we were. We could not find the way with the map (but do not spread the word around, it's a secret...), and after a long and exhausting day of walking, with the help of passers - whom Pope Francis must name saints because they saved us - we arrived safe at home.
We did the real first tour of the city on Monday, January 14th, this time with an expert guide, conscious of the road to follow and above all wise. We visited a part of the cathedral and Placa de la Virgen, whose emblem is a fountain with a statue similar to Poseidon in the center. In reality, the statue represents the local river, Rio Turia, and around it there are 8 statues that symbolize its 8 tributaries. Inside the cathedral, the guide showed us two very particular objects: the relic of the patron saint of Valencia (San Vicente), and what they think is the Holy Grail.
On the same day of the tour, we learned the eating habits of Spanish people, and I would honestly have preferred to learn them in another evening. To create the right atmosphere, I will describe you the context of the discovery. That Monday morning I, Carmen and Ludovica had the meeting with people working in Esmovia, then from 2.30pm to 6.30 pm we had the first lesson of the intensive Spanish course. At the end of this, around 6:30 pm, our tour started; after a lot of walking it was 8.30 pm and the stomach began to complain. The guide then entered a bar and my first thought was "Let’s have dinner", but the thing started to get strange when the waiter started bringing us orange juices, peanuts, slices of bread with ham and cheese, tapas. .. in short, at 20.30 we were doing an aperitif! At the thought that we still had to go shopping and go home I felt like crying :( Well, Spanish people, unlike the Italians, eat a lot later. They have lunch on average at 2.30 pm, then there is a snack at 5.00 pm and dinner is not before 10 pm. This is because in Spain they use all hours of the day to do what they have to do, while most of the Italians at 19.30 come home to dine. In fact, in relation to this, all the supermarkets in Valencia close at 9.30 pm.
In Italy we say "the country you go, the custom you find". Well, that evening between one thing and another we had dinner at 23.15. With the other supergirls in the following days we visited the Museum of Ceramics and Fine Arts, the Lonja, the Mercado Central and that of Colon, the Serranos and Cuart towers; maybe in the next articles I'll talk about it. But personally I'm excited because I cannot wait to visit the famous and spectacular City of Arts and Sciences, with the annexes Oceanographic and Hemisphere. It will certainly be a beautiful thing and a great emotion.
As always, I wait for you at the next episode of the fantastic adventures of the three supergirls in Valencia!
WonderFrancesca greets you and sends you a big hug!