The orange groves started some way outside Valencia. Ditto artichoke and other fields. I had caught the fast train from Barcelona so I arrived at Joaquin Sorolla station:
rather than the North Station:
As if in expiation, RENFE runs a free shuttle bus between the two.
From an initial stroll round, I find Valencia a highly decorative city. Swan-necked pediments on 13-storey blocks, ceramic panels everywhere, fantastical creatures holding up balconies . . . It’s a little like Barcelona in style and many of its buildings outside the old centre seem to be from the first half of the 20th century. But very eclectic: from my eighth-floor room I can see a number of wedding-cake turrets. I look forward to finding out more tomorrow when the rest of the tour group arrives.