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  • by mpowell



    If you’re in Valencia on Sunday afternoon, make sure to turn your radios to Cadena Ser (1.179 OM/ 100.4 FM). Juergen and I were invited to their studio this week, for an interview as part of a recurring feature about Valencian blogs.

    But take some aspirin before listening to us! The interview was in Spanish, and despite having lived here for the better part of a year, our mastery of the language could be described as tortured, at best. Tortuado. Ha! I’m learning.

    Thanks to Ana and Juan Enrique Tur, who also writes a Valencian blog called Testigo Accidental, for setting up and conducting the interview… and for being so patient with our ridiculously poor Spanish!

  • by mpowell

    Months ago, we wrote about Google’s plans to bring its amazing Street View technology to Valencia, and now that day has arrived. They’ve just announced that Street View is live in 4 Spanish cities: Madrid, Barcelona, Sevilla and VLC.

    Our Hood, Through the Eyes of Google

    Street View allows people to take virtual walking tours through the cities of their choosing, combining comprehensive (and often stunning) imagery with Google’s exemplary map navigation. It’s a lot of fun just “walking” down random streets and, though it won’t ever beat the feeling of actually wandering aimlessly about El Carmen, it is a decent alternative for those who can’t be there.

    Here are some awesome Street Views we’ve seen so far. Feel free to suggest more in the comments!
    Estación del Norte
    Plaza de la Virgen
    Puente de Flores
    Hotel Neptu

    Oh man… I have actual work to do, but this is too much fun. Google Street View – destroying office productivity around the world.

  • by mpowell


    Street View is one of the more incredible of Google’s many free map-based applications. And now, it’s coming to Valencia.

    Starting Monday, Google’s fleet of camera-equipped cars will be cruising our streets, taking pictures for their Street View of Valencia. Keep your eyes peeled.

    If you’re not familiar with this application, basically: it’s awesome. Street View provides a navigable street-level view of many large cities. Check out, for example, my old house in Cambridge, Massachusetts. You can scroll down the city streets, almost as if you’re walking or driving.


    So if you see a Google car in the next few weeks, make sure and do something memorable (like, say, holding up a huge poster advertising Photographing an entire city is sure to turn up a few nuggets of gold. Here’s a list of the Top 15 Street View Sightings.

    Breaking In, San Francisco (source:

    It might still takes months before the Valencia-version of the application is ready, but I can hardly wait. Ours is one of just 4 cities in Spain chosen for the initial European rollout of Street View (along with Madrid, Barcelona and Sevilla).

  • by mpowell

    We had a harder time finding a suitable apartment in Valencia than we had expected. There are plenty of agencies and resources who’d like to help, but not many are worth wasting time on — we lost many days with agents of dubious quality showing us shit apartments we would never consider.

    Here are some of the things we had a little more luck with:

    1. Pantoja Inmobiliaria

    This is by far the best real estate agency that we dealt with while in Valencia. The places they took us to were of a far higher quality than those of other agencies, and it was through them that we ended up renting a place. Their agents were all friendly and helpful, happy to patiently explain things multiple times to confused foreigners.

    Web Site:
    Location on Our Valencia Map

    2. Idealista

    Idealista is the best online market for apartments that we came across. Their site is multi-lingual, easy to navigate and mercifully spam-free. Their apartments run the gamut from agencies to private landlords, and from renting to selling, and cover all of Spain.

    Web Page:

    3. Walking Around

    This is a great way to find places that haven’t been advertised online, or through an agency, and thus avoid any extra fees. A lot of people, especially with cool apartments in the city, just throw an “Se Alquila” sign in the window of the place they want to rent out, knowing it won’t be too long before they get a call. We spent many hours wandering through the neighborhoods we wanted to live in, finding and calling phone numbers in nice-looking buildings.

    Oh, and one other thing that is really important — you have to know at least a little Spanish to be successful. Nobody we dealt with was able to speak English at all, except for one lady who was clearly not to be trusted (Gracia: we are onto you, and we always were). We got by with my minimal Spanish, but it wouldn’t have been possible without knowing the basics.

    Have you already found an apartment in Valencia? Agree/disagree with our advice? Please make a comment here, or join the Hola Valencia forum to share your tips and experiences.

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