Travel Diary | Life Lately: Winters in Spain



"Have you ever thought that you would be living in Spain?" It's a question that P asks often, and my answer is always the same: no, never in a million years had I ever imagined that we would, on a whim, move here, having never visited before, and to this particular city, as opposed to the more predictable choices of Barcelona or Madrid. Not because it's not a wonderful place to live, to be sure, but because I (like many others, it would seem) had never even heard of Valencia before.

It was an especially bad summer, weather-wise, in Edinburgh the year that we decided that we needed a change. The month of August had been the worst, with gloomy overcast skies, rain, rain and more rain, and even hail once! All the new sidewalk terraces on the beautiful George Street were left abandoned, waitstaff waiting listless to server fresh Scottish lobster and glasses of white wine to go with it, but the weather was impossible -- it was simply too cold and windy and wet. Weather conditions that are tolerable, of course, in the wintertime, but not in August.

19-Winter in Spain-This Is Glamorous Roseline Lohr

Travel Diary | Winters in Spain

We arrived in the city in mid-December -- on December 15, 2015, to be exact.

A few months before our arrival, we had actually considered (and visited) Lisbon and Bordeaux, as well as Lyon. But P had a hunch that this city would be the place. And Valencia may not classically beautiful from an architectural perspective -- there are still many scars left from hard times here: long-closed theaters and mansions, beautiful old buildings torn down and replaced by brutalist monstrosities -- it more than makes up for its rough-around-the-edges vibe with it's spectacular climate.

This port city on Spain’s Orange Blossom Coast, where the Turia River meets the Mediterranean Sea has summers that can last up to eight months of the year (April to November). In fact, the city has one of the mildest winters in Europe, caused by its southern location on the Mediterranean Sea and the Foehn phenomenon. In January, the average temperature ranges from 14 to 20 °C (57 to 68 °F) during the day and 4 to 12 °C (39 to 54 °F) at night.

Three days after our arrival, it was 22 °C and we enjoyed drinks on a terrace in December...

Travel Diary | Winters in Spain

Locals enjoying a late lunch on a terrace in mid-winter.

18-Winter in Spain-This Is Glamorous

Homemade Smoked Salmon, Crème fraîche & Caviar Spelt Crust Pizza from a  recipe inspired by Wolfgang Puck

17-Winter in Spain-This Is Glamorous

16-Winter in Spain-This Is Glamorous

This past winter was our third here and while it was much chillier than the past two (the chilliest in decades, we were told), most days were still warm enough to sit on terraces (in coats, of course, and there are heaters in the winter months) and it was still warmer than any other city we've lived in before. And we know with a great amount of certainty that the month of August will be gorgeous, and that, at the moment, counts for a lot.

Travel Diary | Life Lately: Winters in Spain

Travel Diary | Winters in Spain

Left: At the Mercado de Colón, in our neighbourhood, which has fresh flowers all year round.

23-Winter in Spain-This Is Glamorous

24-Winter in Spain-This Is Glamorous

Wintertime is when the orange trees that line the city streets are filled with oranges.

25-Winter in Spain-This Is GlamorousA Christmas carousel

Travel Diary | Life Lately: Winters in Spain

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