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America’s Cup – Live on the Internet

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You’ll be forgiven for not already having booked your holiday home or hotel reservation, for the 33rd edition of the America’s Cup, to be held on February 8-12. As of today, the very staging of the event is still up in the air.

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“Your sails were made in the US! Not Switzerland!” Seriously, that’s the gist of the current reason for postponing the most important event in sailing.

But should the race actually occur, you’ll be able to watch it live and for free on the official site, americascup.com. For the first time ever, the race will be broadcast live, in its entirety, on the web.

We saw Alinghi’s boat in the harbor recently, and it is truly massive. Word is that Oracle’s is even more insane. So, even though the race features just the two teams, the scale of their boats and the boiling animosity between them almost guarantees excitement.

Explore Valencia’s Harbour

January 26, 2010 at 3:35 pm Comments (0)

Casa Botella Taberna – Excellent Cooking in Ruzafa

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Ruzafa is certainly at no loss for great restaurants. Diners can find just about anything here, from decent budget food for the impoverished, to fancy cuisine for the wealthy. Comfortably occupying the middle ground is the Casa Botella Tavern, near the Mercado Ruzafa. Putting a unique spin on traditional rice & stew dishes, it’s an excellent and affordable (€12) menú del día.

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Show up on time! By 15h, you’ll have a hard time finding a table. Casa Botella is both popular and small. The menú del día is a bit different than the traditional two plates of other restaurants. You’ll start with a homemade cream. I chose cream of lentil, with caviar, and it was interesting, in a good way. A fresh salad is brought for the table to share before the main dish, usually a rice dish or stew. I had a rich rice dish with spinach, cod and raisins… delicious. Juergen enjoyed gazpacho manchego.

As its name suggests, Casa Botella is also proud of its small wine list. Drinks aren’t included in the menú del día’s price, so be aware of that. Our waiter was friendly and helpful, and spoke English, which was nice because the dishes were so unique. Enjoy the pictures of our food, and check out the restaurant! We can definitely recommend it.

Casa Botella’s Website
Pintor Salvador Abril, 28
654 849 333
Location on our Valencia Map

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Unique tapas in Valencia

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January 25, 2010 at 2:26 pm Comments (0)

Jan 22nd – Holiday of San Vicente Mártir

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You’ll probably have noticed that the stores in Valencia are closed again today. The reason this time is the celebration of San Vincente Ferrer, the city’s patron saint. This is a festival for just the city of Valencia — outside the city nucleus, life continues as normal.

Vinceter Ferrer Valencia

The main event of the day is a procession at noon from the Cathedral, down C/ La Paz. Appropriate to the veneration of a martyr, this is a solemn affair, not musical or lively.

Last year, we wrote a longer article about the history of San Vicente Mártir, with a lot of pictures from the parade. If you unsure about whether to attend today’s event, check it out!

Photos form Xativa

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January 22, 2010 at 8:30 am Comments (2)

Artichoke Festival in Benicarló

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Artichoke Fun Fact!
The origin of artichokes is a mystery, though they’re thought to be natively from North Africa.

Benicarló is a small seaside town on the northern end of the province of Castellón, near Peñíscola. It’s become a tourist haven during the summer, so winter is the perfect time to explore the village.

But don’t expect peace and quiet from the 22nd to 28th of January… expect artichokes! This is the week Benicarló celebrates one of its most important festivals, dedicated to the strange little plant.

Artichoke Fun Fact!
Artichokes are virtually fat-free and have strong digestive properties. They lower cholesterol and strengthen both the liver and gall bladder.

Benicarló’s interest in artichokes is strong… it’s been farmed for centuries and is the only vegetable grown in Castellón to earn the Denomination of Origin seal of quality. The festival features tastings, conferences, exhibitions and artichoke-related events. My imagination is not nearly agile enough to guess what an “artichoke-related event” might be.

Artichoke Fun Fact!
Castroville in Monterey County, California calls itself the Artichoke Capital of the World… even though the plant wasn’t even introduced to the continent until the 18th Century! Pfah, just like Americans to claim ownership of everything!

Benicarló is easy to reach by car, 90 minutes north of Valencia along the AP-7. There’s also a train station in the town. This year’s festival runs from the 22nd to the 28th.

Benicarló Tourist Information

Book cheap hotels in Benicarló



January 21, 2010 at 12:06 pm Comments (2)

San Antonio – Pics & Video

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Dieser Artikel auf Deutsch: Der Große Antonio in Valencia

January 17th is the day of San Antonio, patron saint of animals. In Valencia, celebrations center on the neighborhood and church which bear his name, where people bring their pets to march in a crazy parade and get blessed. I don’t think I’ve ever seen so many 4-legged creatures in one place — dogs were the most numerous, but they were joined by cats, hamsters, rabbits, goats, pigs, fish, lizards, birds… and just about everything else you could possibly consider a "pet".

As you might expect, we got a lot of fun pictures. Enjoy!

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Fallas 2010  T-Shirt

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January 18, 2010 at 2:44 pm Comments (5)

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