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Valencia Likes Fireworks. A Lot.

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October 9th, the Day of the Valencian Community, got off to a bang as soon as the clock struck midnight. On Thursday night, we grabbed a spot on Paseo Alameda for the international fireworks festival.

golden-shower-valencia

I’m going to make a claim which I can neither prove nor provide statistical data for, but which I believe to be true nonetheless. Valencia is the best place in the world for fireworks. If you are a fan, Valencia is your Mecca. Once in your life, you must make a pilgrimage here.

My God. An entire hour of fireworks, with one brief 5-minute intermission. Who needs an hour of fireworks? Who even wants that?! And it wasn’t boring for even a minute. Highlight after explosive highlight left our ears bloody and bruised, yet still unprepared for the ridiculous finale. It’s hard to be surprised by fireworks or to see something truly “new”, but a spinning fireworks wheel on a gigantic crane? That was new.

You know how when you see a kid who can yo-yo really well? You kind of feel awed by him… his yo-yo’ing is sweet, it requires a lot of skill, and it’s something you don’t see every day. Still, you can’t shake the feeling that the kid is a freak. A weirdo. It’s simultaneous appreciation and alienation. That’s how I feel about Valencia and its obsession with fireworks.

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explosion-valencia
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More Firework Videos: Nit de Foc 2009 / Nit de Foc 2008 / Color Mascletà

October 10, 2009 at 5:32 pm Comments (5)

USA-Style Rodeo in Valencia

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Pictures and videos of very first Rodeo in Valencia here!

For the first time in its history, Spain is about to experience American-style rodeos. The Rodeo Europe Tour is coming to 12 cities on the Iberian peninsula and Valencia is one of the chosen — on the 26th and 27th of September, some of America’s best cowboys ride into the city.

For a people as fixated on horses and bulls as the Spanish, it’s kind of unbelievable that a rodeo has never been staged here. Maybe it’s just the obnoxious American in me who thinks that all aspects of my homeland’s culture should be eternally available in every country… but rodeos are awesome, and I can’t believe they wouldn’t be massively popular in Spain. I’m not being ironic. The 8 seconds that a cowboy rides a bucking bronco are incredibly thrilling.



[Source: RodeoEuropeTour.com]

And it’s not just the bronc riding… rodeos consist of 7 separate events: Bareback (Bronco) Riding, Bull Riding, Steer Wrestling, Team Roping, Saddle Bronc Riding, Tie-Down Roping and Barrel Racing. And the only Spanish participant in the rodeos is a barrel jumper from Valencia, Patricia Jarque. Represent!

Tickets start at €22, which isn’t bad at all. Pictures, videos and more information can be found at Rodeo Europe Tour 2009’s Official Website.

Hotels in Valencia


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September 14, 2009 at 11:14 am Comments (2)

Open Air Cinema at the Gardens of the Palau – 2009

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As was the case last year, Valencia’s IVAC-Filmoteca is presenting excellent films in the gardens of the Palau de la Música from July 27th to the 5th of September (location). There are some great titles included in the line-up, from classic John Huston flicks to more recent fare like the hilarious Tropic Thunder. All the films are show in Original Version, and the price of a ticket is just €3. Showtimes at 22:30.

Here’s a rundown of the schedule, with links to our film website Criticker. For easy reference, make sure to bookmark the page!

Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
Jul 27 Jul 28 Jul 29 Jul 30 Jul 31 Aug 1 Aug 2

The African Queen
USA, 1951

Bucarest, la memòria perduda
Spain, 2008

Moby Dick
USA, 1956
Aug 3 Aug 4 Aug 5 Aug 6 Aug 7 Aug 8 Aug 9

We Own the Night
USA, 2007

Santos
Spain, 2008

The Man Who Would Be King
UK/USA, 1975
Aug 10 Aug 11 Aug 12 Aug 13 Aug 14 Aug 15 Aug 16

La Vida Buena
Chile, 2008

Hellboy II: The Golden Army
USA, 2008

WALL·E
USA, 2008
Aug 17 Aug 18 Aug 19 Aug 20 Aug 21 Aug 22 Aug 23

Only Angels Have Wings
USA, 1939

Camino
Spain, 2008

The Dark Knight
USA, 2008
Aug 24 Aug 25 Aug 26 Aug 27 Aug 28 Aug 29 Aug 30

Bend of the River
USA, 1952

X-Men: The Last Stand
USA, 2006

Tropic Thunder
USA, 2008
Aug 31 Sep 1 Sep 2 Sep 3 Sep 4 Sep 5 Sep 6

Shanghai Express
USA, 1932

Watchmen
USA, 2009

Movie Blog



El Corte Inglés (P)

July 28, 2009 at 2:26 pm Comments (0)

Summer Open-Air Cinema in the City Center

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Fans of open-air cinema have a couple options this year in the center of Valencia.

Cinema al Carmen

For the first time in over 50 years, Valencia’s historic Carmen neighborhood will be showing movies in the open air, at the Cinema al Carmen terrace on C/ Beneficencia near Na Jordana (location). For €5, you can enjoy recent films like Terminator Salvation or Harry Potter & The Half Blood Prince. They also sell bocadillos and beer (for €1! Reason enough for me!). A full list of the films coming to the terrace can be found on their website: cinemaalcarmen.com


Christian Bale is DEAD SERIOUS
Nits de Cinema en La Nau

The old university building La Nau (location) is once again showing summer films in its courtyard, from the 14th to the 25th of August. Films are grouped into two categories — Images of the City: Transformations through Time, and Superheroes: perfect for summer! The selection of films in that first category is pretty eclectic, from the anime flick Metropolis to Rossellini’s neo-realism classic Germany: Year Zero. Entrance is free but limited so show up on time. I’m pretty sure that the films are shown in the original version; they were last year. Here’s the brochure (in Valencian) with show times and dates.


Germany: Year Zero

Last August, there were also open air films being shown in the gardens of the Palau de la Música. Both modern and wonderful classic films for a good price. I’ve not heard anything about that for 2009, but we’ll make sure to inform you if we do.


July 15, 2009 at 4:36 pm Comments (0)

Our Lady of the Forsaken 2009 – Events

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This weekend, Valencia celebrates a festival in honor of its official patron saint, Our Lady of the Forsaken (Mare de Deu dels Desamparats, in Valencian). Here’s a preview of some of the highlights:

Saturday, May 9th

23:00 – Concert by the Municipal Band of Valencia in the Plaza de la Virgen (location)
24:00 – Fireworks in the Turia riverbed, near the Serrano Towers (location)
Following the Fireworks – A grand folk dance in honor of Our Lady in the Plaza de la Virgen

Sunday, May 10th

10:30 – Transfer of the Virgen from her chapel to the city cathedral. This is an ABSOLUTE must-see event. Check out our 2008 experience.
14:00 – Mascletà in the Plaza del Ayuntamiento (location)
18:30 – Solemn procession in the city center (starting at Pl. Virgen, then along Caballeros, Bolsería, Mercado Central, Pl. Reina, ending at Almoina)

Monday, May 11th

20:30Ronda a la Verge, which is I think a concert at the Plaza de la Virgen.

All Weekend

Bells: The bells of the Micalet tower will be rung by hand at various hours during the weekend, signifying different things. It starts today from 16:30 to 17:00 to announce the beginning of the festivities.
Bulls: Bullfights on both Saturday and Sunday… because there’s no better way to say “I love you, Holy Virgin” than blood sacrifice!

… and here I was kind of hoping for a quiet weekend.

Got questions about Valencia? Post them in our Valencia Forum.


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May 8, 2009 at 10:57 am Comments (0)

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