Tuesday, August 28, 2007

New season at the Palau de les Arts in Valencia

The fabulous Palau de les Arts, Valencia's Opera House has announced the new season which includes the Festival del Mediterrani in May 2008 - for more details click the headline. And subscribe to our excellent fortnightly newsletter by sending an email to newsletter at thisisvalencia dot com.

Advance Notice - Bloc Party live in Valencia

Bloc Party have just announced they are playing Valencia on 22 November at Republikka - more info as we get it on our main site.

Hey! If you want up-to-the minute info on Valencia delivered to your mailbox every fortnight or so sen an email to newsletter at thisisvalencia dot com

Flats in Valencia and beyond

Calle Colón - great pied à terre on the best street in Valencia 400,000 euros

Lovely 2 bed Apartment with incredible shared gardens and pool in Campolivar - 228,500 euros

Charming new apartment in the centre of Bétera with shared gardens and pool - 252,500 euros

Thisisvalencia.com is famous for its excellent information and listings on Valencia. Now we are offering property for sale and to rent in this wonderful city and beyond. With over ten years in the relocation and house search business, we thought it was time to offer our services online and now it is here! Click on the headline to go to our property pages

August is nearly over but tomorrow is La Tomatina

If you are going to La Tomatina tomorrow make sure you take your goggles and be prepared to be washing pink water from your body for a few days! Oh! and cover yourself in suncream - tomorrow s going to be a scorcher!
Click the headline for first hand accounts of previous years, they make great reading and if you can't make it this year you will know better what you are missing!

Monday, August 20, 2007

Blue Flag Beaches in Valencia

Valencia is a city with beaches. Beautiful beaches. So you can enjoy the city life and mix it with days or hours on the beach. Malvarrosa is the city beach and it can easily be reached by bus or tram from the city center. Miles of clean sands stretching up the coast through Patacona and Alboraya, with restaurants and cafés and play areas.

There are more blue flag beaches in the Comunidad Valenciana than in any other comunidad in Spain, and the joy is that you can be swimming till late October! We know people who visit and swim much later, but they are hardy souls!

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

La Tomatina in Buñol

La tomatina takes place this year on the 29th of August at 11:00. Special trains run from valencia every half hour - the journey takes around 50minutes and cost around 8€ return. To put you in the mood here's a review of a previous Tomatina.

La Tomatina is probably the worlds biggest and certainly the messiest food fight. So when I heard that thisisvalencia.com were organizing a coach trip, I jumped at the chance to go. I have never experienced anything like it in my life, up to 40,000 people crammed into tiny streets. Mental! I mean I've read about it in various guide books, but nothing prepared me for the real thing.

We meet up with the thisisvalencia.com party at 8:45 outside the Palau de Musica for the short coach ride to Buñol and arrived at about 9:30 in the morning.

We followed the crowd down to the town center, which was already heaving. It was like an invading army swarming down into the town, from every street and lane more and more people pilled into the crowd. The more experienced were wearing goggles. I even saw one person wearing a snorkeling mask.

All the buildings were covered in plastic (to protect them from the tomatoes). The locals were all on their balconies and rooftops watching the invaders.

Once we got into the main street things really started to heat up. The only relief from the heat was when one of the locals would throw a bucket of water on us from the safety of their roof. When this happened the crowd started to go mad, chanting Agua, Agua, Agua.

With so many people the buckets of water weren't really sufficient, some people had hooked up hoses and were dousing the crowd, that's when things really took off. Men started ripping off each others camiseta´s (t-shirts) and within minutes a fully fledged tee shirt war was underway. The sodden camisetas became the first weapons of the invaders.

The streets had lights strung across them, because La Tomatina is a week long fiesta. But within 20 minutes each string of lights looked like bunting, with more ripped t-shirts than light bulbs hanging from each string.

The smell of so many people was starting to really staring to fill the air, but it wasn't possible to do anything about it, there was simply nowhere to go. It took my nervous band 15 minutes to move from the center of the road to the pavement. We did this in the vain hope of evading the growing Guerra de Camisetas. After about an hour, we were totally wrapped up in the fight, moving to stand under water when possible and throwing the Camisetas at everything and everybody. (This is strictly against the rules by the way, you are only supposed to throw squashed tomatoes).

Then the cannon sounded, this was the cue for the trucks bearing the tomatoes to fight their way through the crowd. Each truck carried about 25 people on the back of it and about another 10 people hanging onto the sides, trying to climb in. The people in the back of the trucks were throwing great handfuls of tomatoes at everybody they passed, no one was safe.

The crowd went wild, the ground was covered in slippery tomato puree and people were picking up great big handfuls and chucking at first nervously at the people they knew, but by the time the second truck arrived, it turned into every man for himself.

By the time the third truck arrived, we were standing in tomatoes up to our shins. People splashed it with there feet, picking it off their bodies, clothes, heads, other peoples backs and chucked it indiscriminately at everybody and everything.

As soon as the second cannon shot sounded people stopped, we were now barely able to stand. The crowd fell silent for about a minute and slowly the noise started to build as friends separated in the fighting met up and began to laugh at the ripped clothes and tomato covered people all around them. Some people lay down on the road reluctant to leave.

As we made our way back to the bus things fell silent again. Somebody stopped us to take a picture of us. I was drained, dazed dumfounded at what had just happened. I would have believed it was a dream if it wasn't for the tomato juice running down from my face and the tomatoes under my feet in my shoes squelching between my toes with each step.

I am looking forward to the next thisisvalencia.com outing. It is a good way to see the best that the Valencia region has to offer. Organized by people who know the region and all the great festivals.

For more information on the fiestas in Valencia check out our newsletter http://www.thisisvalencia.com/news10.html