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Among Dinosaurs at the Umbracle

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As everyone knows, there is exactly one way to get children interested in the Natural Sciences: Dinosaurs. The bigger and scarier, the better.


Oh great, it’s Pipsqueak McGee, the neighborhood geek.

“My less enlightened peers may be impressed by dinosaurs, but my favorite creature of the past is the fascinating trilobite, with is easily fossilized exoskeleton.”

Shut up already, Pipsqueak. Nobody likes a nerd.

Luckily for all the cool kids in Valencia, the City of Arts and Sciences is not staging a year-long exhibit entitled “Among Trilobites”. Instead, visitors to l’Umbracle will find themselves Among Dinosaurs until May 29th, 2011. Entrance to Europe’s largest collection of mechanized dinosaurs will cost €6. Nighttime visits are possible until the end of August.


From the imposing Stegosaurus to the 27 meter Diplodocus, there are twenty-six robotic dinosaurs on display. Strangely though, no Tyrannosaurus Rex!

Haha, yeah right! Of course there’s a Tyrannosaurus Rex. There’s never been a dinosaur exhibit in the history of the world without one. That’s a fact, you can look it up.

More Information at

Prince Felipe Science Museum – Our Visit

July 15, 2010 at 7:51 pm Comment (1)

The 25th Cinema Jove – 2010

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On Saturday, Valencia’s summer film festival got underway — Cinema Jove. This is it’s quarter-century anniversary, and they’ve got an awesome line-up of films for viewing.

Cinema Jove shines the spotlight on foreign cinema, with 9 films from 9 different countries competing for the top prize. Denmark’s Submarino an is supposed to be excellent, as is Eamon from Ireland.

The official selection films are playing at the Teatro Rialto, but the festival visits over 10 other screens throughout the city. Our favorite are the open-air screenings in the Viveros Gardens. It’s free, and fun movies are always chosen for these popular viewings. Here’s a run down of the films at Viveros.

Saturday, June 19th
Celda 21120:30
Juan Oliver wants to make a good impression at his new job as a prison officer and reports to work a day early, leaving his pregnant wife, Elena, at home. His destiny is forever changed by this fateful decision, as during his tour of the prison, an accident occurs that knocks him unconscious. He is rushed to the empty but visibly haunted walls of cell 211. As this diversion unfolds, inmates of the high security cell block strategically break free and hijack the penitentiary. Spain, 2009
Sunday, June 20th
20:30The Beguiled
While imprisoned in a Confederate girls boarding school, a Union soldier cons his way into each of the lonely women’s hearts. USA, 1971
Monday, June 21st
20:30The Elephant Man
A Victorian surgeon rescues a heavily disfigured man who is mistreated while scraping a living as a side-show freak. Behind his monstrous facade, there is revealed a person of intelligence and sensitivity. USA, 1980
Tuesday, June 22nd
20:30Paths of Glory
When soldiers in WW1 refuse to continue with an impossible attack, their superiors decide to make an example of them. USA, 1957
Wednesday, June 23rd
20:30The Tenant
A quiet and inconspicuous man (Trelkovsky) rents an apartment in France where the previous tenant committed suicide… France/USA, 1976
Thursday, June 24th
A serial killer is murdering London women with a necktie. The police have a suspect… but he’s the wrong man! UK, 1972
Double SessionPaths of Glory
Friday, June 25th
20:30King Kong
A film crew goes to a tropical island for an exotic location shoot and discovers a colossal giant gorilla who takes a shine to their female blonde star. USA, 1933
Double SessionJaws
In 1975, director Steven Spielberg brought Peter Benchley’s best-selling novel to the screen with stunning power and unbearable suspense. Jaws left an indelible mark upon the movie-going (and beach-going!) public, distilling a sea of fear from these five words: “Don’t go in the water.” Once the terror begins, Roy Scheider, Richard Dreyfuss and Robert Shaw must join forces on a desperate quest to destroy a killer embodying nearly three tons of white death. USA, 1975
Saturday, June 26th
20:30The Thing
Scientists in the Antarctic are confronted by a shape-shifting alien that assumes the appearance of the people that it kills. USA, 1982
Double SessionThe Devil Doll
IPaul Lavond was a respected banker in Paris when he was framed for robbery and murder by crooked associates and sent to Devil’s Island. Years later, he escapes with a friend, a scientist who was working on a method to reduce humans to a height of mere inches (all for the good of humanity, of course). Lavond however is consumed with hatred for the men who betrayed him, and takes the scientist’s methods back to Paris to exact painful revenge. USA, 1936

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June 21, 2010 at 9:50 am Comments (0)

Global Champions Tour – Horses Gone Wild

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The Global Champions Tour is currently occupying the Ciudad de Artes y Ciencias. It’s a bizarre and compelling venue for an equestrian competition.


They’ve laid down half a foot of sand in the pool near the Science Museum (specially imported from Lyon, because… you know, that Lyonnaise sand!) and set up courses, stables and a multitude of ritzy shops. Our favorite store? Horse Gym 2000, of course! With a horse treadmill. I will never, ever get tired of the ridiculousness of humanity.

We spent some time walking around yesterday, and had a lot of fun. Tickets start at just €5, which really seems like a bargain. The competition is exciting… we saw a few hurdle springing events, where the riders are judged on both form and speed. If you’re into horses, you really should get down there. And if you’re not? Hell, it’s still a interesting way to spend an afternoon. Today’s the last day, so get going!


Unlocking your Movistar iPhone (Good Luck)

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May 9, 2010 at 9:51 am Comments (0)

Our Lady of the Forsaken

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This weekend, always on the second Sunday in May, Valencia celebrates its patron saint, Our Lady of the Forsaken. The city’s most insane religious procession takes place on Sunday morning, and there are a few other events to keep your eye on.

Concert, Fireworks and Dance at Plaza de la Virgen – Saturday Night
At 11pm, the Municipal Band of Valencia takes the stage at the Plaza de la Virgen for a free, open-air concert, to kick off the weekend’s festivities. It’s very pleasant, in stark contrast to the music which will soon fill the square. After they’ve finished, a short but impressive fireworks display will be shot off over the Turia. It’s visible from the plaza, but if you want an unobstructed view, you should head down to the riverbed.

After the fireworks have ended, folkloric music, castanets, elaborate costumes, and dancing fill the plaza in an interminable dance. Hundreds of falleros prance to the squealing, whistling sounds of flutes and other woodwinds. The musicians play the same song over and over, and I promise, you won’t be able to get it out of your head for days. And you will want to, desperately.

Check out our 2009 coverage of the dance & fireworks

Open Air Mass – Sunday Morning
Taking place at the ungodly hour of 5am, la misa descubierta is only for early risers, and guilt-ridden late-night party people. It takes place at the Royal Chapel, and since we’ve never gone and never will, I won’t comment further.

The Traslado – Sunday, 10:30am
This is the highlight of the festival, and one of the absolute must-see events on the calendar. Even the non-religious can’t help but be moved by the spectacle of the Virgen de los Desamaparados being carried from her Basilica to the Cathedral. It’s a very long 200 meters, from door to door, with the path being obstructed by thousands of rabid Catholics clamoring to touch the virgin, who will stop at nothing. With rose petals raining down from the balconies, true believers crying and shaking, desperate parents literally throwing their babies at the statues, the men buckling under the virgin’s weight as come perilously close to dropping her over and over… it’s a sight you can’t miss. Incredible. If you’re not sure, just check out our 2008 & 2009 coverage.

Mascletà – Sunday, 14:00
The cage is gone and this mascletà should be a great one.

Official Procession – Sunday, 18:30
It has the Virgin, but none of the craziness. This is a long, solemn and much calmer parade. The end is nice, when the bishop and important politicians walk by, with Our Lady hot on their heels, but until then, it’s just so many ladies dressed in black, and dudes in suits. The route goes like this:

Pl. Virgen, Caballeros, Tossal, Bolsería, Mercado, María Cristina, San Vicente, Pl. Reina, Mar, Avellanas, Palau, Almoina

Ronda a la Verge – Monday, 20:30
On Monday evening, there’s more traditional music on the menu in the Pl. Virgen. Grab a seat at one of the cafés, and allow yourself to unwind from a crazy weekend.

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May 7, 2010 at 9:59 am Comments (0)

The Ubik Café & The Tapa del Libro

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If you’re not familiar with the Ubik Café in Ruzafa, then you’re missing out on one of the coolest hangouts in the city.

The Ubik is more than just a bar or café… it’s also an incredible used & new book store, with a great selection of titles; mostly Spanish, though there are a few English boxes. The prices are great, especially on old, beat-up books, and the vibe in the café is unbeatable. Dogs run around freely, there’s an area for kids to play, and everyone seems chilled and probably a little bit cooler than you are. I recently picked up an old Agatha Christie for €1,50, ordered an Alhambra, and spent a couple hours on an old couch.

In celebration of the Feria del Libro currently going in the Turia Riverbed, the Ubik is holding a little fiesta of its own on Friday evening: The Tapa del Libro. For €3, you get a used book, a tapa, and a glass of wine. Not bad!!

The Ubik is popular anyway, and it’s almost impossible to find a spot to sit on Friday nights. So, I’m assuming that it’s going to be packed full for the Tapa del Libro. But for a deal like that, I’m willing to submit myself to a crowd. Besides, I’m already done with that Agatha Christie book. Maybe I can find an old Sherlock Holmes…

Tapa del Libro at Ubik
Friday, April 23rd at 8pm
C/ Literato Azorín 13
Location on our Valencia Map
963 741 255

Used books for 1 Euro, 1 Pound or one dollar!

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April 21, 2010 at 11:43 am Comments (4)

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