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Birds leaving Valencia

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leaving bird valencia-4

Right before sunset you can witness huge amounts of birds gathering over the city’s rooftops before they start their journey to a warmer place. Comparing the weather, though, between here and Germany I don’t understand where the birds want to fly to. Winter in Valencia is just perfect.

It kind of reminds me of Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds!

Here are a couple of images I took of the bizarre and noisy sight:

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November 24, 2008 at 10:25 am Comments (0)

Jeff Tweedy in Valencia

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Jeff Tweedy in Valencia from Valencia Blog on Vimeo.

Last night, we went to see Wilco’s frontman Jeff Tweedy put on a solo show at Heineken Greenspace (location), one of Valencia’s top concert venues. It’s the first rock concert I’ve been to since moving here 6 months ago. Well, we did see Dover’s free show during Fallas for about 5 minutes, but I’m not counting that.

Wilco are one of America’s best bands and are incredible live. Solo, Tweedy was a lot more mellow than in one of his band’s raucous, high-energy shows. It was just him and an assortment of about 8 guitars on stage — no other accompaniment. The track list he chose was like a greatest hits tour through his career. He played songs from all of Wilco’s albums, and even one or two from Uncle Tupelo (arguably the founders of alternative country).

Greenspace as a venue was good, if not great. It’s quite large, and this was too intimate a show for such a spacious area. It wasn’t nearly full, which turned out to be a good thing, given the heat and utter lack of air circulation. Poor Tweedy was completely drenched in sweat during his entire performance.

This was the first stop of his tour through Spain; he’s also appearing in Mallorca, Altea and Murica. If you’re a fan of Wilco, you really should go. It’s a shame Valencia doesn’t attract more high-profile international acts… any ideas why?

Wilco’s Website
Location of Greenspace on our Valencia Map

September 3, 2008 at 6:27 pm Comments (0)

Beer & Bravas: Valencia’s Choice

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Patatas Bravas in Valencia-30

According to a study done by a research group for the Cervecerias of Spain, the most popular aperitif of Valencians is a glass of cold beer and patatas bravas. Excellent — that just happens to be Hola Valencia’s choice, too.

Beer (70%) was followed by cola (50%), vermouth (24%), wine (19%) and sangria (17%). I’m surprised to see wine so far down the list — Valencians drink it all the time. Just last week I was at a restaurant, where a burly crew of construction workers were sharing a bottle … at 8am!

Patatas bravas (49%) beat out olives (46%), nuts & dried fruits (34%), cheese (29%) and calamari (27%) as the perfect accompaniment for a drink.

Valencians commonly congregate after work for a drink or two around 7 or 8pm. The bars in the city center can get full, especially on the outside terraces. So, where should you go for your beer & bravas? Here are a couple recommendations:

El Gau del Rallfor ambiance (location)
Patatas Bravas in Valencia-26
Close to the city center, El Gau del Rall is tucked away in a small courtyard on Calle del Mar and serves up both great bravas and the perfect combination of tourists and locals. The terrace seating merges with that of another bar, Sol i Lluna, which doesn’t serve warm tapas — so make sure to sit at the right table!

El Café del Marfor taste (location)
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This small bar is a little on the grimy side, but it’s got the best bravas we’ve eaten thus far in the city. It’s located right on the back side of Santa Catalina. Make sure to bring an ambivalent tolerance for loud, drunk regulars.

Valencia Plazafor convenience (location)
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Despite its location at Tourist Ground Zero, Plaza de la Reina, this bar is worth a stop for its tasty, cheap bravas and beer. The staff is super friendly, and multi-lingual.

Cafe Almarwhen at the beach (location)
After a long day of swimming and sunning, what tastes better than a huge, cold beer and spicy bravas? Nothing. At the end of the Malvarrosa beach, restaurante Almar serves cheap bocadillos and the spiciest bravas we’ve had. It’s good value, given the beach-side location.

Can you suggest other great places in the city to have beer and bravas? Please leave a comment or post in our forums!


August 11, 2008 at 4:46 pm Comments (3)

Flamenco in Valencia: Gypsy Prince

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Gypsy Prince in Valencia from Valencia Blog on Vimeo.

Meanwhile, we’ve been back to Radio City for the third time: taking our guests to see Flamenco is now on our must do list, and for some reason Tuesdays always works best. But we’re dying to check out Flamenco nights in other bars.

Anyway, the performance of this young flamenco dancer was amazing. At first I thought it was a girl but after hearing "guapo" I realized it was a boy. He couldn’t have been older than 14. It was the best flamenco show I have seen (out of three!)

Does anyone has more information about him? I would really like to take some portraits… he’d almost be a guarantee to produce some interesting images.


More info: Flamenco at Readio City in Valencia

July 18, 2008 at 3:17 pm Comments (3)

Flamenco in Valencia – Radio City

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Flamenco Valencia-4

Every Tuesday night, there is a Flamenco session at Radio City (location). We went this week, and had an excellent time.

I’m not an expert in Flamenco (and in fact, before I bought a Camarón de la Isla album 4 weeks ago, I had never really listened to it at all), but I think the performance in Radio City was pretty great. The performers all seemed to be a part of the same, extended Gypsy family. There were two singers, an older matriarchal figure & a younger one who looked as though she was giving birth, so pained was her expression while singing. Two guitarists provided the accompaniment — a grizzled, older dude who didn’t look up even once, and a much more lively & handsome younger man. ¡Gitano que guapo!

Flamenco Valencia-2

The musicians were fun enough to listen to (“fun” might be the wrong word — whatever it was they were wailing about cannot have been happy), but the highlight came when the dancers took the stage. First, a tall and very skinny guy stomped about, whipping his jacket from side to side and whipping himself into a frenzy. It was intense. At the apex of the dance he suddenly stopped and stared into the crowd, and at the same time the matriarch let loose with a wild gypsy howl — awesome.

And the second dancer, a woman, was even better. Every muscle was taut while she danced, and the tall guy was clapping the whole time for her, keeping the beat, yelling “Olé” and “Guapa” every once in a while. It really seemed as though the whole clan didn’t care whether an audience was there or not.

It must be said, though, that this was a stage performance, during which the audience was asked to remain quiet — not one of the wild, participatory sessions that can be found in Seville or elsewhere in Andalusia. Still, it was an incredible time.

The price is €7 and includes a drink. The show starts at 23:00, but show up a half-hour beforehand to ensure you get seats. There’s no need to buy tickets beforehand. As always, make sure to check the website of Radio City, to verify that this information hasn’t changed.

Link: Radio City
More information on Flamenco in Valencia, at
Location on our Google Map

Travel Insurance Spain

April 26, 2008 at 9:18 am Comments (3)

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