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Spain: The Best Country in the World

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What a glorious finale to an incredible month of soccer. Last night, all of Spain collapsed in an ecstatic fit when Andrés Iniesta slammed home his winning goal in extra time. Spain is the best country in the world. I mean that. The best country in the world.

Yo Soy Espanol

It’s as though the tournament had been scripted! The Spaniards weren’t just the World Cup’s best team, but the classiest. Fair play and a beautiful passing game have come to define La Roja. They’re also the bestlooking team in the world. Hands down. And in the Netherlands, they had an almost comically villainous opponent — the dirty-playing, karate-kicking, flopping, petulant Dutch.

They were the good guys. Spain deserved to win. And then, they did! THEY WON! When the tension couldn’t possibly have gotten any more unbearable, Andrés Iniesta freed his country from a legacy of defeat. Spain is the best country in the world.

Check out our awesome video of the celebration at Café Burlón in Valencia, and afterwards at Plaza del Ayuntamiento.

Congratulations Spain! You richly deserve this victory. And, although I’m not a native, I hope you don’t mind me singing along… ¡Yo soy español, español, español!

¡Yo soy español, español, español!

Valencia Spain Weltmeister

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July 12, 2010 at 11:09 am Comments (5)

The Portland Ale House – Great American Microbrew Pub

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We’ve been watching a bunch of the World Cup games at one of our favorite bars in Valencia — the Portland Ale House. Found on Calle Salamanca near Plaza Canovas, the Portland’s blinking neon arrow provides an unfailing beacon for the thirsty.

Portland Ale House

The Portland is extremely popular among young American and British expats, but also among natives, and there’s a nicely mixed crowd on most nights. Especially popular are the Sunday night pub quizzes, which get underway at 20:00.

As far as I’m concerned, there are two overwhelming reasons to show up. First is the sports — American football is shown here (during the season), making it perhaps the only spot in downtown Valencia to get your pigskin fix. Secondly, the Portland has a number of great microbrews.

And it’s a place to meet people, especially if you’re an expat who’s missing the homeland a bit. The owner, Mike, is actually from Portland (Oregon) and always happy to chat. Check it out… regardless of where you come from, this is an awesome pub in one of the city’s best corners.

Portland Ale House (on Facebook)
Calle Salamanca 10
Location on our Valencia Map
963 810 406

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June 24, 2010 at 1:46 pm Comments (2)

Bike Trip to Saler and the Albufera

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Juergen and I are stupid, drooling idiots; a sad fact confirmed by the length of time it’s taken us to finally purchase bicycles. 2 years! We’re so dumb… there’s no excuse. Valencia is an excellent city for biking. No hills to be found, and the big Turia park serving as a “bike highway”, complete with “exits” into various parts of the city. The weather here is great and the motorists aren’t too frightening (at least within the city, where they’re forced to go reasonably slow).

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One of the best reasons to have a bike in Valencia is the massively improved accessibility to the beaches. Not just Malvarossa, but to the less crowded and more serene southern beaches — Pinedo, Dehesa, Saler. There’s an awesome bike route which leads to them, starting near the new Agora building (precisely here).

The long, popular path avoids traffic the entire way, reaching the Pinedo beach in about 20 minutes. The further south you travel, the more deserted (and nekkid!) the beaches.

Not only can you enjoy the sand and the sound of the waves, unencumbered by the massive crowds of Malvarossa, but you’re right on top of the Albufera national park. We took a little tour after sunning on the beach. Beautiful dune and swamp landscapes define the park, along with unfortunately ugly high-rise apartment complexes built before the Albufera was put under environmental protection.

But it’s best to ignore those buildings and focus on the natural beauty. I have a feeling that we’ll be back quite often this summer. If you’re in Valencia for an extended time, we strongly recommend getting a bike. You’ll be amazed how quickly you can get around.

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We happened upon a Triathlon during our trip.
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Vacation Rental Valencia

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May 3, 2010 at 2:23 pm Comments (5)

13th Annual Kite Competition in Valencia

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Hey you, there! Yeah, you with the “I Love Kites” shirt on. Yes, you! You, who’s wearing the “Krazy 4 Kites” ball cap! I’ve got some news that is going to blow your freaking mind!

Whoa, stop screaming! I haven’t even told you the news yet!! (You kite people are some serious nutters).

Okay, get ready: The 13th Annual Kite Competition is taking place this weekend at the Malvarossa beach. Okay, now you can scream.

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It should be a sunny, warm weekend for the festival, which we dropped by on last year. The schedule of events includes kites, kites and more kites. Dragon kites. Funny shaped kites. Whirly kites. You get the idea, rights?

(Geez this dude hasn’t stopped screaming since I told him the news. He’s starting to make me nervous. His face is all red, and I’m not sure he’s even breathing. And the spinning around in a circle, flapping the arms… that’s just weird.)

The festival runs from Friday to Sunday, with the main activities on the 10th and 11th, from 10 to 18:30h. Here’s the official website if you want to find out exactly where it is, and what’s going on. I know at least one guy who’ll be there!

Beach Rugby


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April 8, 2010 at 5:00 pm Comments (0)

Fallas 2010: David Villa as Super Fallero

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Filmed with the Sanyo VPC – CS 1 (super tiny) available here: USA, UK, Deutschland and Spain

I was THIS close to David Villa!!

If I stuck out my arm I could have touched him! David Villa graced the Plaza de Pilar with his presence today for the Plantà — Mahou beer sponsored him to come out and help set up a couple of the pieces. I just stood there, along with the rest of his crazed fans, screaming and crying and peeing myself. Yeah, I was a mess, but at least I didn’t leap upon his back like a monkey and cover his head with kisses — and I was seriously thinking about it.

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For hostel/hotel bookings during Fallas, we’ve found the best rates at Hostelbookers, Booking.com and Apartments in Valencia

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March 16, 2010 at 12:33 am Comments (6)

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