Thoroughly tamed, it has a zoo at its western end and a Science and Arts Park at the other, but peters out into reed beds before seeping unnoticed into the Mediterranean Sea to the east.
But the grand old stone bridges and massive masonry embankments remain; their shady arches now span dusty boulevards and frame views of mature trees. But their names remember past pomp, saints and royalty; Puente Real, de Serranos, Reino...
The waters were banished for a reason. On the 14 October 1957 the Ria Turia rose 5 metres in a few tumultuous hours and devastated the city of Valencia; with huge loss of life and property.
Now I’m returning to Valencia for a Art Residency in the small town of Chelva about 70 Km to the west of Valencia, in the Iberico mountains.
I know nothing of the town, but fell in love the photos of the little house advertised on the internet. It is owned by Dutch artists Ben and Helma who have lived in Chelva for many years.
Today, my main task is to buy art materials to take with me. Ben has recommended a shop near Torres de Serrano; indeed an Aladdin’s cave. I’m hoping to make mono-prints so a few tubs of paint and an A2 pad of paper add to my already over heavy suitcase.
Then I visit one of my favourite galleries: MuVIM. It’s an impressive modern building surrounded by contemporary gardens based on the footprint of an old hospital.