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Plaza Dr. Collado – In the Heart of the City

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If you’re meeting a group of friends in Valencia, there’s about a 73% chance you’ll be meeting in Plaza Dr. Collado (location). The reasons are many: the plaza is central, everyone knows it, there are plenty of places to sit for a drink, it’s relaxed and without major traffic.

On any length visit to Valencia, Dr. Collado (named after, I think, this guy) will be one of the plazas you find yourself in over and over again. Directly behind La Lonja, and within spitting distance of the Mercado Central and Plaza Redonda, it’s perfectly situated for a post-sightseeing caña.

Tourists mix with locals here, and the atmosphere is almost always festive. We enjoy watching street musicians fight for the right to play in the lucrative plaza.

One of the most striking things about this plaza is the number of abandoned buildings that surround it. Even while the plaza enjoys prominence as one of Valencia’s favorite areas to hang out, the city and landlords completely neglect its living conditions.

Back in the 70s, the Falla of Dr. Collado was one of the city’s most important — that decade’s Nou Campanar. Nowadays, it’s one of the most boisterous. During Fallas, this plaza rocks all night long, with live music and big crowds.

Location on our Valencia Map

July 24, 2010 at 10:42 am Comments (0)

Plaza de la Virgin and Panoramic Views of Valencia

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We’d climbed the 207 steps of the Micalet before, but this time have recorded a video of the panoramic views from above.

Music by Camaron De La Isla
Title: Leyenda Del Tiempo
Songs available here: Cameron De La Isla

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July 24, 2010 at 5:32 am Comments (2)

Hola Valencia’s Top Five: Day Trips

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With our impending 3-month trip to Asturias coming ever closer, we thought it’d be a good time to look back on our years here, and compile some “Best Of” lists. We’ll start with Day Trips. As is always the case when creating lists, we’ve had to leave a lot of great things out… but these are our favorites. In the next few days, we’ll be publishing more Top Fives!

The city of Valencia offers enough diversion for any length of trip, but it’s worthwhile to get out and see some of the other incredible spots which are nearby. We took a lot of day trips during our time here, but these are the five which we enjoyed the most, in no particular order.

El Palmar and the Albufera

Found just a few kilometers south of Valencia, the natural park of the Albufera is home to an enormous freshwater lagoon. From the city, you can bike there in less than an hour, and be rewarded with some incredible nature… dunes, wetlands, birds and fauna, the beaches of El Saler, and beautiful nature trails. The village of El Palmar is found deep within the Albufera and is world-renowned for its paella restaurants.

El Palmar – The Perfect Day Trip
Bike Trip to Saler and the Albufera
El Palmar and the Albufera – Another visit

Sagunto

Sagunto is famous for its Roman theater, and its hilltop castle which stretches over a kilometer. A must-see for history fans, “Saguntum” was a powerful Roman city, and the first to be attacked by Hannibal. It’s just a short train trip away from Valencia.

Sagunto: City of Ruins
Sagunto, Part II

Dénia & Xàbia

There are a lot of great opportunities for biking in the Valencian Community, but the trip we most enjoyed was around the Montgó Mountain, between the touristy seaside villages of Dénia and Xàbia. Even without the bike trip, both towns are worth visiting; particular Xàbia with its crystal blue water and beautiful coastline.

Bike Tour around the Montgó: Dénia-Xàbia

Alcoy

Alcoy, with its magnificent old town and castle, is worth a visit any time of year. But it’s especially impressive in late April, when the Alcoyanos put on Spain’s biggest Christians & Moors Festival. For three days, marchers, dancers, musicians and animals fill the streets. I’ve never seen anything like it.

Alcoy – Christians & Moors Festival 2009
Mentira – Alcoy’s Awesome Party Drink
Valencia Scenic Drive: Alcoy to Altea

Xàtiva

With trains leaving the Estación del Norte about every half-hour for Xàtiva, there’s very little excuse to miss out on this fascinating town south of Valencia. The Castle of the infamous Borgia family is the highlight, but there is a lot to see and do in this city of the Setabenses.

Day Trip to Xàtiva
Xàtiva – Introduction & History
Random Xàtiva Photos
Xativa Castle in HD

Rent a car for your day trip from Valencia

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July 23, 2010 at 9:19 am Comments (2)

Eerie Valencia, Spooky & Beautiful Images

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post-office-Valencia

Here’s a set of some eerie nighttime photos I’ve taken of Valencia. Enjoy!

eerie-valencia

agora-at-night

eerie-turia

pink-pink-building

Spinning-sick

valencia-spain-flags

children-eater

banco-valenciano

moon-ayuntamiento

Follow us to Oviedo

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July 21, 2010 at 9:13 am Comments (2)

¡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)

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