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Paseo de las Rocas 2010

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Crazy weather tried, but wasn’t able to totally dampen the Corpus Christi festivities this year, and we made sure to show up for at the Palacio Arzobispal for the Paseo de las Rocas.

Close your eyes, and imagine a magical land called Pony Paradise, where diminutive horses are fed sugared hay on cotton candy sticks, and get deep horse-muscle massages from enslaved jockey midgets.

Corpus Christi 2010

Now open your eyes again, because the Paseo de las Rocas is the exact opposite of Pony Paradise. It is HORSEY HELL. At the Palacio Arzobispal, the smallest horses are selected to drag the mammoth Rocas up the hill. Fat, sadistic Valencians “encourage” them with vicious stick beatings, laughing as the ponies bray and buckle under the weight, sometimes collapsing onto their knees.

Naturally, it’s one of my favorite events! I always make sure to show up early, to jeer at the stupid ponies and take pictures of their hilarious suffering. Hey now don’t look at me that way, my family was slaughtered by a wild band of crazy horses. They are my enemies.

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Moma 2010

Hotels for Corpus Christi

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June 7, 2010 at 3:26 pm Comments (4)

Corpus Christi 2010

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Corpus Christi Valencia

The festivities for Corpus Christi, one of Valencia’s most important holidays, get underway tomorrow and run through the weekend. Huge statues, creepy white-robed ladies, elaborately decorated balconies and unfairly burdened ponies are just some of the things you can expect. Here’s a quick rundown of the main events:

Saturday, June 5th
all day – The Rocas, centuries-old wooden structures which illuminate the “mysteries” of the Catholic faith will be on display all day.
19:00 – Performance of “The Mysteries” in the Plaza de la Virgen. If memory serves, it’s mainly for and by children.
23:00 – Concert by the Valencian Municipal Band in the Plaza de la Virgen. They’re always worth catching, especially if it’s a pleasant summer evening.
00:00 – Festive parade during which the best-decorated balconies are awarded prizes.

Sunday, June 6th
9:00 – Bell concert from the Miguelete, the bell tower of the city cathedral. You say “concert”, I say “maddening cacophony”.
12:00Cabalgata del Convite. Really, if you see just one parade this year in Valencia, make it this one. With crazy costumes, including La Moma, fun dancing and lively music, this is the most fun parade I’ve ever seen. Stand along Calle Avellanas, to see Herod’s henchmen get drenched with water from the balconies… just don’t stand too close if you want to stay dry.
16:30 – The 2nd of the day’s parades is the Paseo de las Rocas, when tiny horses carry the enormous Rocas through the city streets. As the parade comes around the Palacio Arzobispal, bets are made on whether the smallest horse in each convoy can drag its Roca up the slight hill. It’s exciting and cruel.
17:30 – Dance of the giants in the Pl. Virgen. Huge figures and groups of costumed people dance around the plaza. Last year, we met two wild-eyed Catholic German girls here, who tried to convert us to their faith.
19:00 – Solemn Procession of the Corpus. Alright kids, the fun is over, and this dreary parade lives up to its name. Women in black and men in suits walk solemnly down the street, on their way to the cathedral.

It’s a lot; a lot of parades, music, dancing, events. I’m exhausted just typing it out. The best thing to do is probably just plan to spend your weekend around the Plaza de la Virgen, which is where most of the action takes place.

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June 3, 2010 at 8:09 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.

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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!

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Unlocking your Movistar iPhone (Good Luck)

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

San Antonio – Pics & Video

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Dieser Artikel auf Deutsch: Der Große Antonio in Valencia

January 17th is the day of San Antonio, patron saint of animals. In Valencia, celebrations center on the neighborhood and church which bear his name, where people bring their pets to march in a crazy parade and get blessed. I don’t think I’ve ever seen so many 4-legged creatures in one place — dogs were the most numerous, but they were joined by cats, hamsters, rabbits, goats, pigs, fish, lizards, birds… and just about everything else you could possibly consider a "pet".

As you might expect, we got a lot of fun pictures. Enjoy!

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Fallas 2010  T-Shirt

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January 18, 2010 at 2:44 pm Comments (5)

Paso de las Rocas – Corpus Christi in Valencia

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The Paso de las Rocas is the 2nd of the Corpus Christi day parades, which were celebrated this year on June 14th. Click here to read our post about the first parade, the cabalgata del Convite.

The Rocas are huge wooden floats, some of them dating from the 16th century, which depict Biblical and other religious events important to Valencia and are only brought out during Corpus Christi.

rocas-bolseria

During the parade, 2 horses drag each Roca through the city streets. These things are heavy. While the parade route is downhill (down Calle Bolsería, for example) the horses don’t have any problems. At the parade’s end, though, their luck changes. The final stretch, towards the Archbishop’s palace is uphill.

“That’s no problem!”, thinks the littlest horse, turning towards his larger and stronger buddy. “Together, we can do anything!”

“Buddy?”

For the final uphill stretch, they unhitch the larger horse and force the smaller one to go it alone. And the onlookers bet on whether or not he’ll make it. As long as one doesn’t belong to PETA or have too strong a view on animal cruelty, it’s awesome. Those little horses — almost ponies — fight, struggle, pull and collapse onto one knee, in their furious efforts to drag the Rocas those final few meters.

Add it to the list of weird Valencian parades. There are more than enough.

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Mietwagen Valencia / Rental Car Valencia

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June 21, 2009 at 2:46 pm Comment (1)

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