I went to Valencia this weekend to see my brother who is visiting Spain during his university holidays. This is the first time I've been to Spain, and I really liked it, though I was so afraid of my inability to speak Spanish that for the first twenty-four hours I ate only jambon iberico and bread.
Valencia overflows with decoration, from the facades of baroque mansions to the interiors of space age metro stations. It's in some ways a disjointed city. Areas compete in the same way that a scribbled tag and a refined shop sign compete; strong identities shout to be heard, struggle to push one another aside and never quite succeed. The city feels a little like a Battle of the Bands contest, with different personalities displayed on multiple stages.