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Festival of Nations 2009

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Lacking a little culture in your day-to-day life? Feel like jamming out to some bongo drumming? Getting sick of Spanish paella and arroz del horno?

All valid reasons to head down to the Festival of Nations (Feria de las Naciones) starting today and running through June 7th. During the next two and a half weeks, stands from countries all over the world will be selling food, drink, art, clothing and more.

Multi-culti overdose! If I remember correctly from last year, most of the stands are from Latin America. Yup, Latin Americans and a lot of Europeans with ratty dreadlocks into capoeira.

Entrance is free, and the festival runs for so long that there’s not much excuse to skip it. There are a number of special events so, if you want to participate, make sure to check the program which can be found here.

Festival Location on our Valencia Map

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May 20, 2009 at 1:08 pm Comments (0)

The Miramar – Architectural Oddity

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One of Valencia’s unique architectural highlights is the miramar — translating literally into “look at the sea”.

Valencian Miramar

The miramar is immediately recognizable; a small square-shaped tower plopped on top of a building’s roof. Miramars were intended to give homeowners a better view of the city and the sea. Normally, the tower is accessed from the building terrace. The main, square room has glass windows on all four sides, in order to provide the best view possible.

It’s a Valencian oddity which gained wide-spread popularity among the upper-crust starting in the 17th century. You can still find them in the city center and especially in the maritime district. Of course, as buildings got taller and taller, people kept building miramars at greater heights, until eventually giving up.

Nowadays, very few in Valencia probably boast a view of the sea. Still, they’re an interesting and unique piece of the city landscape.

May 19, 2009 at 9:10 am Comments (0)

Sala El Loco – Rock Concerts, Theater and Comedy

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Sala El Loco (location) is one of the top concert venues in the city. In addition to music, they feature theater and comedy acts.

This Friday night, you can check out the Friki day of pride party, for just a €5 entrance. “Friki” is the cute Spanish translation of Freak. Bands like Rajoy Division and Ligres will be performing for what’s sure to be an interesting crowd.

If freaks aren’t your thing, still make sure and check out the other events on their funky website. Their concerts and events are pretty eclectic; the emphasis seems to be on “cool”.

Erudito Orellana 12
96 392 2607

Location on our Valencia Map

May 18, 2009 at 3:35 pm Comments (0)

Valencia’s Feria de Abril

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We’re really late with this one, but here are some images we got from this year’s Feria de Abril, which was held (confusingly) at the beginning of May in the Turia riverbed.

The festival grounds were pretty small, and everything was focused on horses and flamenco. Feria de Abril is truly a Sevillan festival — one of Spain’s largest and most popular. Here in Valencia, there are a number of groups of people from Andalusia and they get together to celebrate as a consolation prize for not being able to do so in their homeland.

The party was really winding down by the time we arrived, but we did see one crazy thing. Let’s just say — driving under the influence is not a good idea, even if what you’re driving is a horse. This older gentleman was just plastered and directing his poor horse into tent after tent, knocking tables and chairs over and nearly trampling a bunch of people. It was probably more funny than scary, but still!

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May 17, 2009 at 4:53 pm Comments (0)

World’s Longest Cable Car in Valencia?

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Is Valencia about to get the world’s longest cable car? That’s the plan being put forth by a group called Telefèrico Valencia. They’re proposing a cable car which would run for 13km along the Turia river bed and go by all the top architectural sights.

Each car would be able to seat 9-10 people, and there would be stops at the America’s Cup Harbor, the City of Arts & Scienes, the Torres de Serrano and the Bioparc.

What do you all think? Wait, before making up your mind, check out their short and unintentionally amusing promotional video featuring a cable car photoshopped in front of Valencia’s highlights.

Honestly, I’m not enthusiastic about the idea. Currently, the most annoying thing in the riverbed is the tourist packed train which chugs down the sidewalks way too quickly. But cable cars flying over my head might even be worse. Levante seems to be skeptical about the idea ever coming to fruition, just because this is the same group which tried to promote a huge artificial island off the coast (similar to the crazy island in Dubai).

Telefèrico Valencia’s Website

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May 15, 2009 at 7:46 am Comments (2)

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