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Rebajas – Bargain Madness in Valencia

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Three Kings Day, on January 6th, may be the yearly event most anticipated by youngsters, but January 7th is when true excitement hits for Spanish consumers. It marks the beginning of Rebajas: Massive sales at just about every store in the country.

rabajas-valencia

It’s a common phenomenon — huge post-holiday discounts meant to help stores clear out their old stock. But, this being Spain, the sales reach the point of insanity. 50% off is standard, and a large number of stores make cuts of up to 70%. The crazy sales encourage a lot of Spaniards to go into debt during the month of January, which makes financial sense, if you can resist shopping during the rest of the year.

It seems the entire country is on sale. A couple times, I’ve gone to pay for something and found it even cheaper than the discount which was marked. It’s an exciting feeling — you think you’re getting a deal on a nice shirt for €12, and then you’re only charged €9.

We ventured to Corte Ingles for its opening on the 7th, and found ourselves in the middle of a giddy, greedy, impatient crowd. When the doors opened at 10am, the shoppers stormed into the store headed mostly, I think, for the jewelry counter. Take note: those frail-looking, elderly Spanish ladies can throw a mean shoulder check. Stand not between them and 50%-off necklaces, lest thee be stricken to the ground.

Are you taking advantage of Rebajas? Make sure to share any awesome bargains you’ve found in the comments or Valancia Forum!


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January 9, 2009 at 1:14 pm Comment (1)

Opening of Mercado Fuencarral

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mercado-fuencarral

On Thursday, we went the the grand opening of Valencia’s newest shopping center, Mercado Fuencarral. The word “grand”, though, might be overstating things a bit… The new mall was, indeed, open but many of its shops were not. There were very few people wandering around floors still grimy with construction dust. The same techno-lite song played on a loop, providing an appropriate soundtrack to a very desolate atmosphere.

shopping-young
shopping-net-Valencia

The mall’s focus seems to be on specialty, off-brand clothing of the sort you’d be likely to find in El Carmen, although there are also some big names like Adidas and Puma. There are a couple small furniture and home stores… Vainilla y Chocolate made a great impression on us. Overall, the shops that were open were interesting, and one could definitely have fun browsing.

shoe-shopping-valencia
bye-bye-carmen

All of the promotional materials and press releases for Mercado Fuencarral put a big emphasis on how “hip” it would be. What a cool place to chill with friends! What an eclectic shopping experience! And, yes, there were funky-looking sofas spread throughout the premises, but the only ones using them were stressed out mothers with multiple brats, and tired old people. Probably not the young, hip market that’s being targeted. The Sofa Club looked promising, but again: what kind of cool, “in-the-know” youngsters go clubbing at the mall? I’m skeptical.

wired-art-valencia

Anyway, Juergen and I will be frequent guests of Mercado Fuencarral because of one attraction — the UGC Cine Cite theaters. Cheap tickets, huge screens, a wide selection of films, including some in original versions. It’s the true highlight!

Mercado Fuencarral’s Web Site

Location on your Valencia Map

December 15, 2008 at 5:03 pm Comments (0)

Contaria – Children’s Theater Festival

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From the 20th to the 24th of October, kids can be entertained during the 2nd Contaria — a festival of theater, held at various locations throughout the city.

We only found out about the festival, because we could hear the loopy sounds of today’s performance of “The Eye of Horus” at the Plaza del Patriarca (location) from our apartment, and were curious enough to check it out.

Possibly because of the nasty weather Valencia has been suffering all week, there weren’t many kids watching. A shame, because the stage, outfits and production were really well-done, but there were more performers & volunteers than youngsters.

Well, hopefully the weather improves for the rest of the week. If you’ve got a kid who can speak or understand Spanish, make sure to catch one of these shows, and leave a comment if it was any good! There are over 20 performances, which you can review here.

Contaria – Official Site

October 20, 2008 at 5:12 pm Comment (1)

Gandía Blasco – Design at the Puente del Mar

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Gandia Blasco Valencia-1

Gandia Blasco Valencia-7

As part of the week-long Habitat Festival in Valencia, design studio Gandía Blasco has installed a selection of their simple, futuristic furniture around the pond underneath the Puente del Mar (location).

Gandia Blasco Valencia-2

Although it looks as though it’s set up to be an after-hours lounge, it’s apparently just meant to be a showroom for Gandía Blasco‘s creations. Opportunity missed, I’d say, though I can sympathize that they might not want their expensive furniture ruined by some drunk British girl’s vomit.

Gandia Blasco Valencia-6

Gandia Blasco Valencia-4

Still, it’s worth walking by at night, when everything is wonderfully illuminated. The furniture truly is beautiful… Hurry, though, the exhibit is only running through tomorrow, Sept. 26th. Their website is nice to look at too, by the way, though the contact form is broken. Grrr… I hate über-designed websites that are heavy on flash & can’t do the simple things all websites should do. Maybe that’s just me.

Gandia Blasco Valencia-3


September 25, 2008 at 6:17 pm Comments (0)

39th Annual Book Fair of Valencia

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fira libre Valencia

tons-of-books

If you like books, don’t miss this year’s book fair being held in Viveros Gardens (location).

We went today, and spent about an hour wandering about the 81 stands. Just about every bookstore in Valencia has a presence here, from Libreria Patagonia (yea!), to Futurama Comics (hurrah!), to El Corte Ingles (boo!)

Just about every genre is well represented, especially books for kids. There were esoteric books, antique books with gilded pages, and historical tomes about the Valencian Community. With the weather in the city currently so serene (sunny, warm, light breeze) and the beauty of the surrounding garden, I could’ve spent all day browsing. It’s not only buying or reading books… just being around them kind of makes me happy. Kind of weird, I guess.

book-Valencia-books

spain-books-fair

The festival runs until the 4th of May, so you still have plenty of time to go. Here’s a question to our Valencian readers — I enjoy crime novels (libros negros), and I’m eager to read a good one set inside Valencia. I tried asking a few of the vendors, but was met only with perplexity & shrugs. Can anyone suggest a good crime/mystery novel set in the city?

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The Bookstore FNAC gave away free books.

Link: Fira Llibre


April 25, 2008 at 7:22 pm Comments (2)

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