We wandered through some of the City of Arts and Sciences (Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias) complex in Valencia. Designed in part by famous Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava, the buildings were completed between 1996 and 2009 at a cost of nearly €900 million.
The complex sits within the Jardines del Turia, the park created from the former Turia riverbed. It includes an IMAX theater, a planetarium, an opera house, an aquarium, a sporting and events center, and an interactive science museum — among other things.
Valencia sat on the banks of the Rio Turia until 1957, when the city had the river diverted after a series of devastating floods. The former river bed was turned into the Jardines del Turia, a 9 km-long park that now curves across the top of the city centre.
Stockbridge, much like nearby Dean Village, is a former suburb of Edinburgh that was long ago incorporated into the city. Though only a short walk from the city core, it maintains a distinctive vibe as an upscale neighbourhood filled with boutiques and cafes.
The Scottish National Gallery is located within the Princes Street Gardens. Opened in 1859 in an imposing neoclassical building, the gallery houses an excellent collection of paintings by “Old Masters,” including many that relate to Scottish history. Admission is free.
Right next to Holyrood Palace, in Holyrood Park, is a volcanic mountain formation known as Arthur’s Seat. The distinctive crags are visible from many places around Edinburgh, including from our apartment window.
The highest peak is 251m and it can be climbed in under an hour with a modest amount of exertion and proper footwear.
Another stop on our Highland tour was the Rest and Be Thankful pass, which provides beautiful views of Glen Croe.
The adjoining road (now the A83) was built by the General George Wade in the 1700’s, after the subjugation of Scotland by the British. As his soldiers marched the many miles to Western Scotland, they would rest here.
On our day tour of the Western Highlands we stopped at numerous lochs and castles.
Doune Castle was a medieval stronghold near the village of Doune. It was constructed in the 1300’s by Robert Stewart, the Duke of Albany. Various movies and TV shows have filmed here including Monty Python and the Holy Grail, Game of Thrones and Outlander.