I love walking. If you ask anyone who attended this trip, they would all explain how insufferable I was about walking. Even if the sun was blasting and the temperature was above 30 degrees C ( I still don’t know what that means but I know it’s hot), I would choose to walk. The culture of walking in Valencia is different than in the States. People always filled the streets, people choosing to walk or bike over other forms of transportation. The best memories I have are walking from class after a long day with my fellow amigos, or just aimlessly around the old city after my internship to kill a little time. Walking through parks and random streets taught me more about the Valencian culture than taking the bus. Seeing how people interact, unleashed dogs, and different signs, I was able to view the culture while being in it.
Valencia is especially great for an unplanned stroll. Everywhere you go there are restaurants, coffee, and art that paint the streets. with the many people and the constant sound of music and laughter, it makes walking feel less like a task to get somewhere. I often opted for no headphones just to hear the noise around me; the cicadas screeching, the birds tweeting, the cars speeding, and the bikes squeaking. Every step was worth it.
Walking was usually the slowest mode of transportation, however, I felt like I was in no particular rush. I was perfectly okay with taking a ‘less than 40-minute’ walk.
Graffiti is bad for society. It stains beautiful buildings made by old European contractors and expresses the general public’s feelings. I mean just walk through the beautiful streets of Valencia, Spain. The historical streets of beautifully built buildings with Immaculate architecture, and bam you take a small turn, and you see the horribly inappropriate graffiti of.. a phone with a cat wallpaper?
No, I swear it’s bad, like further down that same street, and I turned to my right, expecting to see a beautifully blank wall, and poof, I was met with… a small house with a quote that translates to “to travel is to return.”
Okay, sure these exact pieces of graffiti aren’t proof, but just walk through the old city, and you’ll see what I’m trying so desperately to prove. Just take a nice stroll through the old city, and look anywhere, literally anywhere and you’ll find yourself looking at a horrid piece of… social commentary (3). Wait hold on, what is happening here. Further, down that same street, there is another piece of graffiti that is, dare I say, touching? (4).
No no no, Graffiti is bad right? Like maybe the cat in the first picture was an evil gang symbol that brings distraught into the city, instead of meaning that the cat was trapped behind the picture which could relate to a deeper meaning related to our obsession with picture taking. Or maybe that house promoted laziness and wasn’t trying to prove a deeper meaning within travel. perhaps the soldier and the angel fighting for an arrow were promoting violence? Or maybe graffiti is good? Maybe it allows an outlet for people to express their creativity?
Graffiti is good for society. Especially noticeable on most walls in Valencia, Graffiti allows for humans to perform their enate trait of creativity. Something that I rave to my friends and family about when they ask me about Valencia is the sheer authenticity that Valencia holds. The people here express themselves genuinely, and their expression can especially be seen through the art splattered on the walls. When walking through the city, I was constantly taking pictures of the random graffiti on the walls. I absolutely fell in love with the different splatters of colors and the deeper meanings that everything held.