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For 91 Days

2009 – Thank God it’s Over!

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If you’re like most people, you’re ready for 2009 to finally come to an end. The financial crisis hit the most of the world pretty hard, and unless you were a banker taking showers with government funded gold pieces, things were tough.

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Our lives were tumultuous, too. We moved twice, thanks mostly to the fire at the Teatro Princesa, and are looking forward to a quieter, more stable 2010.

How was 2009 for you, and what are you most looking forward to in the new year? Personally, I’m excited for the sure-fire World Cup Final between the USA and Spain!

Here are our top 10 favorite posts from 2009. Hope you enjoy the look back:

1) Alcoy – Christians & Moors Festival 2009 – April 24th
What must be the Valencian Community’s most impressive Christians & Moors Festival takes place in the beautiful mountain city of Alcoy on the 22nd, 23rd and 24th of April…

2) Valencia’s Regional Expo of 1909 – August 4th
In 1909, Valencia inaugurated its Regional Expo. “Regional” doesn’t sound like that big of a deal — larger cities like Paris and San Francisco were celebrating World Expos — but it had a huge and lasting impact on the city…

3) Paso de las Rocas – Corpus Christi in Valencia – June 21st
The Rocas are huge wooden floats, some of them dating from the 16th century, which depict Biblical and other religious events important to Valencia and are only brought out during Corpus Christi…

4) Day Trip to Peñíscola – December 1st
A generation of movie goers can be forgiven for thinking that Valencia occupies a peninsular hill, protected by massive walls and a looming castle. The 1961 epic El Cid starred Charlton Heston as the titular hero, Sophia Loren as Jimena, and Peñíscola as the city of Valencia…

5) Authentic USA Rodeo in the Plaza de Toros – September 27th
Last night, we caught the American Rodeo in the Plaza de Toros on the first of its two nights in the city. Quite a spectacle — the show is two hours long and packed full of entertainment. In all, 7 rodeo disciplines are practiced…

6) What is Fallas? – July 14th
It boggles our minds how little Fallas is known outside Spain, and how little media coverage this festival (one of the world’s largest) receives…

7) Grand Mascletà Napolitana – Fallas 2009 – March 8th
At 6pm, a “neapolitan-style” mascletà was scheduled at the Playa de las Arenas. Thousands of Valencians showed up at the beach during probably the most beautiful, warm day of the year so far, and I doubt that many left disappointed…

8) Ciudad de las Artes y Ciencias / City of Arts and Sciences – November 8th
The City of Arts and Sciences is almost certainly the most photographed area in Valencia…

9) Pilota in the Trinquete de Pelayo – February 24th
Pilota is one of the most important sports in the Valencian Community. A fast-paced team game which combines elements of tennis, racquetball, and handball, Pilota has been played in the region for centuries…

10) El Puig’s Medieval Festival for Jaume I – December 14th
This weekend, El Puig, a small town about 25 minutes north of Valencia by train, celebrated its liberator King James I. In 1238, he took El Puig and used the its strategically important location for an assault on Valencia, and his presence was honored with a medieval festival…

December 31, 2009 at 1:58 pm Comments (2)

El Palmar and the Albufera – Another visit

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We already blogged about our day trip to El Palmar but we recently went back. A visit to El Palmar is also highly recommended during the fall and winter months. Pick a sunny, still day and you will experience the Albufera in a light not everyone gets to see.

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Great places to stay in Valencia:

Rental Car Valencia

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December 28, 2009 at 6:23 pm Comments (3)

Rodolfo Navarro at the Atarazanas

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In a new exhibition running at Las Atarazanas in the neighborhood of El Grao (location), the artwork of native Valencian Rodolfo Navarro is featured. Under the title “Plastic Interaction”, we’re introduced to the various facets of the artist’s work.

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Navarro’s most impressive achievement is his partial covering of the Great Wall of China with his cubist-type shapes and colors. He’s done the same in Valencia, Wolfsburg (Germany) and Fontainebleau (France).

The Atarazanas turns out to be a great location for Navarro’s work — over 200 pieces are on display. From portraiture to photography, to sculpture, el valenciano seems to dabble in everything. You have until January 17th to check it out.

Artist’s Webpage
Las Atarazanas Location on our Valencia Map

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Visiting the Diocesan Cathedral Museum in Valencia


December 28, 2009 at 3:20 pm Comments (0)

Christmas for Kids in Mercado Colón

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christmas-in-Valencia
Christmas at the Mercado Central; the events described are at the Mercado Colón.

The rain is depressing, but if you have kids, you can distract them from the weather with the holiday program at Mercado Colón.

Every day until January 6th (save Christmas and New Year’s Day), there is something exciting for children, taking place in the Mercado. Today, Santa is receiving kids from 10-14. I wonder… does he say “ho-ho-ho” in Spanish, too?

Other highlights a tribute to High School Musical on the 26th at 18:30, The Adventures of Pinocchio with puppets at noon on Sunday, a magic show at noon on the 31st, and a clown show at noon on the 2nd. The full list of activities can be found (in Spanish) here: Programa Mercado Colón PDF

Location of Mercado Colón on our Valencia Map

Christmas Gifts
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December 24, 2009 at 8:05 am Comments (0)

Arctic Monkeys Headlining MTV’s Winter Fest

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MTV’s annual Winter Fest is fast becoming one of the best events on the calendar. Great bands come all too infrequently to Valencia, but MTV not only gets them here… they give them to us for free.

Last year’s concert with Franz Ferdinand at the City of Arts & Sciences was tremendous, and 2010’s is shaping up to be even more so. The headliner for the concert on February 13th is going to be the Arctic Monkeys. YES! They’re incredible live (see video below — the song kicking in at 0:55 is one of my favorite musical moments of the past decade.

The other acts haven’t been announced yet, but we’ll let you know when they are.

Official Site

Need a place to stay in Valencia for this event? Check out: B&Bs / Hostels / Hotels

December 23, 2009 at 10:31 am Comments (6)

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