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Color Mascletà & Cabalgata Infantil 2010

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After watching a color mascletà for the first time last year, we knew we were in for a treat. And yes, it was incredible again. If you’d like to see one yourself, mark down March 6th; there will be another, after the Cabalgata del Ninot… the mascletà will probably get underway sometime after midnight.

That’ll be the third one on the 6th, including the normal 2pm one and the Gran "Mascletà" Aérea Napolitana. I don’t think we’ll make it to all of them.

Video of the color mascletà for the ninot infantil parade 2010:


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February 22, 2010 at 4:18 pm Comments (5)

Pelota, Cabalgata, Mascletà: A Busy Sunday

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February is coming to a close, which means that party time is slowly gearing up. Fallas is right around the corner, and it’s impossible to miss the vibe starting to grip the city.


This Sunday, we enjoyed a very Valencian day. It started with a pilota match at the trinquet Pelayo (location). My hands hurt after a few minutes of watching that sport. We watched a couple matches, the whole time feeling self-conscious. All the spectators knew each other, and all the players knew everyone in the stands. It was like we’d crashed a family reunion. But the game is fast-moving and fun to watch, so we just tried to ignore our condition as outsiders.

Later in the afternoon, we saw a bit of the Cabalgata Infantil — a children’s parade that is not at all interesting unless you have children of your own. Which we don’t. It ended with something you probably shouldn’t bring small kids to: a massively loud color mascletà, at around 8pm.

Mascletàs (video and picture in the following post), parades, pilota… man, and it’s not even March yet. Maybe we should pace ourselves a bit.

Pelota pictures also featuring Fallera Mayor and Fallera Mayor Infantil 2010:


Pilota in the Trinquete de Pelayo 2009

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February 22, 2010 at 3:55 pm Comments (0)

Granada – La Cartuja

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After the city cathedral and royal chapel, the most important religious building in Granada is La Cartuja, on the grounds of the University.


The name derives from monks of the Carthusian order. Very serious, very austere and, apparently, very given to be murdered in the most barbaric ways imaginable. If you are into Monk Torture… well, you should probably get some serious counselling, but before you do: indulge in one last fling at La Cartuja. Stabbed, shot, disemboweled… the complex is decked out in paintings of holy brothers being slain.

Besides the awesome Monk Death paintings, the Cartuja is worth visiting for its chapel and sacristy, constructed in the 18th century.

The Carthusians are some kooky mother fuckers. Even today, they live a life of seclusion and quiet prayer, as cut off from the outside world as possible. Their order in Granada is no longer active, but there’s one near Valencia — the Porta Coeli Charterhouse. If you’re interested, a recent movie about Carthusians won a lot of awards: Into Great Silence, by Philip Gröning.

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February 19, 2010 at 3:50 pm Comment (1)

Granada – Sacromonte and Our Flamenco Disaster(s)

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One of the coolest most interesting neighborhoods in Granada is Sacromonte, famous for its inhabited caves. We found it fascinating. Sure, the caves have been decorated, painted and furnished, and facades have been attached, but there’s no getting around the fact that these people are living in large holes in the ground.


Granada is one of the most important cradles of flamenco, and Sacromonte is famous for its performances. We’d been warned, though, that watching flamenco in a Sacromonte cave is a rip-off tourist trap. And we’re not silly tourists, who give their money out for no good reason! Right, Jürgen? … Jürgen?

Wait, Jürgen, what are you doing talking to that maliciously grinning gypsy lady? No! Don’t go in her cave!! Don’t wave me over! Don’t… are you accepting a drink?! Have you lost your freaking mind?

As a photographer, the opportunity to take pictures inside a cave proved more compelling to Jürgen than the need to avoid rip-offs. We knew that our “cave tour” of 2 minutes would cost us dearly, and it did. €7 per person. But, Jürgen got his pictures, and even talked the exultant scam artist into posing for a portrait. Enjoy:


Our other encounter with flamenco came during our first night in the city. We found a blog that praised Peña Flamenca La Platería as one of the best, most authentic flamenco joints in the city. That blog will go unnamed, and we can strongly urge you to skip this place. What a joke! We were ushered into a huge room with 20 other foreigners, and given a glass of the most terrible, watered down sangria I’ve ever had. And the show was awful — they weren’t even trying. The hideous singer brayed like an ox, the guitarist was clearly drunk (he even stopped playing at one point), and the dancer was chubby, boring and unskilled. It was the worst flamenco I’ve ever seen, and we left during intermission.

The Canadian couple in front of us, though, had clearly never seen flamenco before. They clapped and hooted, and whispered excitedly to each other “Isn’t this amazing?” I wanted to clonk their heads together.

We prefer Café del Duende in Valencia for Flamenco.

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February 18, 2010 at 5:58 pm Comments (3)

IVAM – Mean Streets & My Mother’s Suitcase

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The weather hasn’t been the greatest in the Valencian Community recently, so we spent one rainy afternoon at the IVAM — Valencia’s modern art museum — where there’s almost always a new exhibit worth seeing.

Mean Streets (Malas Calles) is a confusing mish-mash; an interdisciplinary examination of how “the streets” have affected and shaped modern culture. That’s what it’s supposed to be about, at any rate. Really, the exhibition is better described as a completely random collection of good music, great films, interesting photography, weird art, and extremely boring video projections. Much of it has a very tenuous connection to “the streets” (Fritz Lang’s Metropolis? Happens underground! In an imaginary future!), but once I stopped trying to “figure out” the reasoning behind the selections, I enjoyed myself.


My Mother’s Suitcase is a sculpture collection by Natividad Navalón, which we liked quite a bit. Using materials like iron, towels, water and light, the artist examines the relationship between a mother and her daughter, in 5 rooms. This is the kind of modern art I can get behind. Moving and accessible without pretension.

My Mother’s suitcase only runs through February 21st, so hurry down. Mean Streets is on until May 9th.

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More images from My Mother’s Suitcase:


Awesome Hostels in Valencia

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February 17, 2010 at 12:56 pm Comment (1)

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