Experiencing the holiday season in another city and another country always feels special to me. Every culture interprets holidays differently. While I have been in Valencia for the holidays quite a few times, I am still amazed at the variety of decorations.

I also learn a little more about my new home in the process. This year, we decided to go for a walk on Christmas night. I wanted to see some of the lights before they were taken down, and we did not have any other plans for the evening. A short walk later, and we were joining thousands of other people who had the same idea.

That’s both a blessing and curse. In the US, Christmas Day is usually extremely quiet, with very little to do on the day. In Spain, though, the families that have been cooped up all day eating and talking drift into the streets. And the most common place to end up is the city center. It’s neat to see so many people enjoying the holiday, but it means that large groups of people on the “wander around aimlessly” setting had been set loose.

One street away from the main route, though, and all was peaceful and serene. We stopped and had a beer at a small restaurant, had a video call with family back home, and then continued on our way. Quite a memorable evening!

Want to see more of past holiday seasons from previous blog posts?

Nothing Says Christmas Like Bethlehem in Miniature

Looking for Christmas

Street markets during the holidays

2014 Navidad en Valencia

A relaxing cup of Madrid

Antique Police and Cars

Glittery Night

Holiday street lights

Holiday street lights

Holiday street lights

Holiday street lights

Holiday street lights

Holiday street lights - this was right next to La Iglesia de San Augustín

Holiday lights in the city center

Holiday lights in the city center

Holiday lights in the city center

Holiday lights in the city center, city hall building

Holiday lights in the city center - Ayuntamiento

Holiday lights in the city center - Ayuntamiento

Holiday lights in the city center

Holiday lights in the city center

Holiday lights in the city center

Holiday lights in the city center

Holiday decorations in the city center

Holiday decorations in the city center

Holiday lights in a plaza near the city center

Holiday lights in a plaza near the city center

Holiday lights in Plaza de la Virgen near the city center

Holiday lights in Plaza de la Virgen near the city center

Holiday lights in Plaza de la Virgen near the city center

Holiday lights in Plaza de la Virgen near the city center

Holiday lights near Plaza de la Virgen

Holiday lights near Plaza de la Virgen