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For 91 Days

¡Hola, Oviedo!

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Hola Oviedo, and hasta pronto Valencia. In a few days, we’ll be packing up our things and moving to the beautiful capital of Asturias for three months. August, September and October will be spent drinking cider.

Since we won’t be here, Hola Valencia will be taking a little breather. But you can follow our Asturian adventures on a new blog:
http://oviedo.for91days.com/ and twitter account: http://twitter.com/for91days

Oviedo

The name “For 91 Days” might give you a hint of the direction in which we’re taking our lives. Basically, we’ll be keeping our furniture and permanent address in Valencia, which will be our base. But for most of the year, we’ll be spending 3 months at a time in random cities around Spain, Europe and the rest of the world. Our jobs are totally mobile, and we’re both born travelers, so we’re really excited to get out there.

We’ll pick the blog back up when we return to Valencia. But right now, we’ve got to start packing for our temporary move to the northern coast! In this heat, the cool Asturian climate is sounding really good.

What are your thoughts about Oviedo? Have we picked a good city to live for a few months?

Car Rentals in Oviedo

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July 20, 2010 at 8:18 am Comments (2)

New Ribalta Painting Discovered in Valencia

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This must be the kind of discovery that anyone who gets into the field of restoration hopes to one day make.

A dusty, dirty old painting in storage at the Church of San Andrés was cleaned up and restored by The Light of the Images, the same group responsible for the marvelous renovations of the Glory of the Baroque. Underneath the grime and neglect, workers realized that they were holding a painting by the 16th century Valencian master Francisco Ribalta.

A crucifix scene now christened “El Calavario”, the painting depicts Christ on the cross with a kneeling Mary Magdalene, the Virgin Mary and a few others surrounding him. The painting has been dated to 1620, eight years before the artist’s death, when he was already respected and firmly entrenched in Valencia. Ribalta was of the Baroque era, and one of the first Spanish practitioners of Carvaggio’s tenebrist style.

You can see his newly discovered painting in the church of San Juan de la Cruz, as a part of the Glory of the Baroque exhibition.

Great Car Rental Prices fro Valencia

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July 17, 2010 at 8:35 am Comments (0)

We Shall Never Forget Thee, David Villa!

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Hmph, try not to look too happy, bub

Death. Taxes. The departure of David Villa. There are just a few things in life that are unavoidable, and the dreaded day has finally arrived in Valencia. An era is over. But everyone knew it was coming, so it’s better just to remember the good times. The world’s best striker no longer plays for Valencia, but for the world’s best team. There’s something fitting about it. Sigh.

My buddy’s girlfriend just left him for another guy. It’s rough. But the other guy is really cool, successful and good looking. Totally the right move, from her perspective. And as much as I want to comfort my pal, she was too good for him. It was just a matter of time.

So, Mr. Villa, we won’t be angry. At least it’s Barcelona and not Real Madrid! At least you’re staying in Spain, and not being shipped off to the Premier League! Best of luck in the future, hope you’re happy and win all sorts of championships, and blah blah blah.

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May 21, 2010 at 5:51 pm Comments (0)

VCF – Champions League Bound!

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What an incredible turnaround this season for Valencian Football. After the disastrous 2008-2009 campaign, when the club was mired in debt, with a huge new stadium they couldn’t afford to complete, VCF looked likely to be relegated. At the very least, experts agreed, they’d have to sell off all their stars — top-tier teams across Europe were eager to swoop down on Valencia’s stinking corpse and snatch up their stellar talent for pennies.


Los Che & their fans deserve to celebrate [Alberto Iranzo / David González – as.com]

But Valencia ignored its debt, stubbornly kept all its best players, and this year has played incredible, inspired football, likely saving the club. With last night’s 3-1 victory over Xerez, Valencia has qualified for the Champions League. And the cash which will flow in from that competition (€3 million, just for qualifying) is sorely needed.

The Guardian has a terrific article explaining how Valencia was able to bluff its way back to life.

“The question is how did they do it? [… A] little help from friends in very high places. Sometimes even a rubbish hand can be a winning hand if you know how to ride it out – and when it comes to poker faces and playing hardball, few beat Valencia president Manolo Llorente.” Read Full Article

With Levante UD likely to ascend to the top flight next season, this is turning out to be a banner year for Valencian football.

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May 5, 2010 at 8:39 am Comments (0)

News Roundup – Franco, Gürtel, Cabanyal

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Today has been extremely eventful news day in the Valencian Community. Here’s a quick rundown of the stories which are front-page news around town.


Image Sources: The NYT | Levante | Las Provincias

Franco’s Final Farewell
A statue of Francisco Franco was removed from a captaincy in the city to a military warehouse in Bétera, providing a striking image which even made the New York Times’ Pictures of the Day (#7). The statue had already been hidden from public eye in 1983, but lived on in an interior patio of the captaincy as a cult object. It’s now in a warehouse, in a metal container, visible to nobody. I don’t understand why it hasn’t been destroyed. I’m sure there are people who’d volunteer for the task.

The Battle of Cabanyal
Yesterday, destruction began on 5 buildings in the seaside neighborhood of Cabanyal, in advance of the controversial prolongation of Avenue Blasco Ibáñez. Though the buildings weren’t among those protected by an emergency governmental declaration, the destruction set off major protests and led to the arrest of dozens of citizens and politicians. Violence was avoided but just barely, if the pictures are any indication! The battle lines are clear: neighbors and the central government vs. business interests and the city government. Tensions are extremely high, and I’m afraid this fight still has a long way to go.

Tightening the Belt
But the biggest news — not just in Valencia, but around Spain and the world — was the new developments in the Gürtel corruption case. The Times of London is now calling it “one of the country’s biggest political scandals since the return of democracy in 1978”. There’s really no room for rational doubt anymore, the corruption sinks deep into the power structure of the Partido Popular, and some of the accusations are stunning. Heads are going to roll, although the Valencian public doesn’t seem to care much about the corruption of its ruling party. With every new revelation, the PP seems to become even more popular.

Valencia Souvenirs


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April 7, 2010 at 2:40 pm Comment (1)

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