Saturday, April 30, 2011

Mediterranean Oil

Here is a simple recipe for a perfect complement to olives, wine, and bread.  Just mix all of the ingredients and let it steep for a while. It will keep for a long time if kept in a cool place. This recipe may not look like much on paper but I guarantee that it will become one of your favorites. If nothing else it gives you a good excuse to buy an elegant little oil vessel.

Mediterranean Oil

2 cups extra virgin olive oil
2 table spoon minced garlic
2 table spoon grated parmesan cheese
¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
Pinch of oregano
Salt and pepper
A couple of sprigs of fresh rosemary 

¡Buen Provecho!

Friday, April 29, 2011

Valencia to Sagunto Bike Trail

Starting from the Ruzafa neighborhood in Valencia a wonderful bike trail will take you almost all the way to the mountaintop fortress at Sagunto to the north. It takes about an hour and a half to get to Sagunto at a fairly leisurely pace. There's no hurry, however, because there's a lot to see along the way. There are villages to explore as well as ruins from the Moorish era, like the defensive tower in the video. These towers can be found all around the Valencia Community and were used mostly for communication. They all have commanding views of the area around them and they could signal each other with fire or smoke.

If you don't feel like going all the way to Sagunto, take a short detour to the beach.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Ubik Café

Ubik Café
Calle Literato Azorín 13
963 741 255

With a great location in the heart of Ruzafa Ubik Café offers new and used books, coffee, beer, tapas, and a great selection of wines by the glass.  Every time I go to Ubik Café they have made it better. Free Wi-Fi makes this a good choice for your office away from the office or just a good place to read or socialize. There is even a room for children and the café has lots of activities for young readers.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

How To Make Pollo al Chilindrón

Pollo al chilindrón

Chilindrón is a wonderful vegetable stew that comes from Aragon.

Serves 4

• ¼ cup Spanish extra-virgin olive oil, plus 3 tablespoons
• 4 chicken legs, thighs and drumsticks separated
• Salt to taste
• 4 cups diced Spanish onions
• 1 cup diced green bell peppers
• 1 cup diced red bell peppers
• 2 tablespoons minced garlic
• 1 cup dry white wine
• 1 cup thinly sliced and diced jamón Serrano (Spanish cured ham)
• ½ teaspoon sweet pimentón (Spanish smoked paprika)
• 2 cups plain canned tomato sauce
• 1 fresh rosemary sprig
• 1 bay leaf
• 2 cups flat mineral or filtered water

Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a 12-quart pot over medium-high heat. Season the chicken pieces with salt then, working in batches, brown them on all sides. Transfer the chicken to a platter and set aside.

Add the ¼ cup of olive oil to the same pot, and when the oil is hot, add the onions and peppers. Reduce the heat to low and cook slowly until the vegetables are dark golden brown, about 30 minutes. Add 1 tablespoon of water if the onions start to burn. Add the garlic and cook for 5 more minutes. Then add the white wine and cook until it evaporates, 4 to 5 minutes.

Add the jamón and browned chicken pieces, as well as any juices that have collected, and cook for 5 more minutes. Stir in the pimentón, tomato sauce, rosemary, bay leaf and the water and simmer over low heat for 1 hour or until the meat starts to fall off the bone. Season to taste with salt before serving.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

How to Make Gazpacho

One of the most iconic Spanish dishes and very easy to make. Gazpacho is more of an Adalucian dish but is common throughout Spain. It just isn't summer without gazpacho. Make a big batch and have it every day. Nothing is more refreshing on a hot day. It's a soup you can drink from a glass.


Green Pepper
Olive oil & Salt 

Monday, April 25, 2011


Del pasado 7 al 14 de abril tuvo lugar la Mostra de Valencia, el festival internacional de cine de aventura y acción, que convirtió la ciudad, en su edición 32º, en el más grande y eminente escaparate para las películas proyectadas.

Durante los siete días del Festival, las actividades culturales se suceden en torno a la industria cinematográfica, de forma que además de retrospectivas de ilustres de la escena como Enrique Urbizo o Giuliano Montalvo, talleres, ciclos como el de James Bond este año, foros, y acontecimientos paralelos como la II Mostra de Cómic, este Festival no olvida su objetivo original: promocionar el cine y representaciones de origen valenciano y actuar como puente entre éste y las influencias internacionales, fundamentalmente mediterráneas, del género.
Finalmente, como Premio del público de la 32ª Mostra de Valencia – Festival Internacional de Cine de Acción y Aventura recayó la Palmera de Oro en la película King of Devil’s Island, del noruego Marius Holst.

Por su parte, el premio de la crítica, de la sección Acción y Aventura, ha sido para Tropa de élite 2, de José Padilha, el premio al mejor largometraje, otorgado por el público, de la sección Panorama Mediterráneo, ha sido para Les petits mouchoirs, de Guillaume Canet, y el premio de la Crítica ha recaído en Angèle et Tony, de Alix Delaporte.
Cada vez más, las nuevas apuestas de cine y televisión aprovechan el gran expositor que supone nuestra ciudad durante estas fechas, para promocionarse, dejarse ver y estrenar sus potenciales éxitos. Así este año, numerosos medios de comunicación se congregaron ante la expectación levantada por el estreno de la nueva serie de Telecinco, Piratas, que contó con la presencia de sus más destacados (y mediáticos) protagonistas.

En definitiva, y un año más, un éxito que pone de relieve la buena salud y positiva imagen internacional, cultural y artística, de la ciudad de Valencia.

Urban Solutions

I finally got my card to work. There was nothing wrong with the card or with the system and if you do it correctly the access is immediate. You first need a Mobilís card for the Valencia bus and metro system which you can buy at any tobacco shop. Next you log on to the web site and follow the instructions (Spanish, Valenciano, and English are offered). It costs 18€ for a year’s subscription and after charging your credit card you will receive a PDF receipt with all of your information. Next you need to verify your PIN number online by responding to an email. Next you take the card and your receipt to any Valenbisí station and register your card by punching in a few required numbers on the station keypad.

Once your card has been activated you just need to scan it at the station, enter your PIN, and press #1 which tells you to select a bike. It will show all of the available bikes at that station and you enter the number of the post of the bike you want to take. At the bike post you press a button and the bike is released. From this moment you have 30 minutes to ride the bike and then you must dock it at another station or pay a tariff. The system is designed for short trips of less than 30 minutes which is why rides under 30 minutes are free. You could make 100 trips a day of less than 30 minutes and not pay anything more than your annual fee of 18€.

If I have one problem with the Valencia system it’s the name, Valenbisí. It doesn’t really roll off the tongue like the Paris system called Vélib or the one in Barcelona called Bicing and in Lyon it’s called Vélov—very cool.  I know it’s not a big deal but I talked about this with some Spanish friends and they agreed with me. I’m pretty thrilled that the program has started so I’ll learn to live with the clunky name. The goal in Valencia is to have 275 stations with 2750 bikes available. I don’t know how close they are to this so far but it looks like they are working full steam ahead to finish all the proposed stations. I have two stations within a block from my apartment.

The system was inaugurated back in June and it looks to be quite a success already. Valencia is perfect for this type of program for many reasons: distances around town are quite short, Valencia has no hills, the weather is perfect for cycling almost all year, and there already exists an extensive network of bike paths. I predict that the city will look completely different in as little as six months from now. The culture of bikes is being thrust upon Valencia. I have noticed the Valenbisi bikes all over the place, especially near the University on Blasco Ibañez (a major boulevard with bike paths on either side of the street).

I saw a comment on a forum discussing bike share programs and someone asked, “Why don’t people just buy their own bikes?” There are a lot of reasons why people like bike sharing so I’ll just list a few. For one thing, many people who live in cities don’t have a place to keep a bicycle.  If you live on the third floor of an apartment building and you don’t have an elevator, a bicycle can be very inconvenient. If you are leaving town you probably wouldn’t want to leave your bike at the train station.  If you are commuting across town by bus or metro you may still be rather far away from your destination and bike sharing can take your that extra kilometer. You don’t have to worry about maintenance or theft.

One intangible item in this formula is the Valenbisi bikes are just cool. I know this cool factor will wear off with time but there is no denying it now while we are in the initial phases of the project. By being a member and using the bikes you can’t help but think that you are involved in making the city a better place for everyone.  Whenever I ride these bikes I feel that I am advertising for a more sustainable transit system and cleaner air. And what could be cooler or more hip than riding a bike downtown to visit and art exhibit on a Sunday afternoon?   I was patting myself on the back so hard today that I almost lost control of my bike.Besides, everyone knows that bikes are a lot of fun.

I heard one planning engineer describe the more successful bike share programs as “transformational” meaning that they actually transform the city. I believe this will happen in Valencia, a city without much of a bike culture. The more bikes people see on the streets of Valencia the more they will start considering cycling as a transportation option.  Not only will more and more people start participating in Valenbisi (there are already about 25,000 members) but more people will begin riding the bikes that they own and haven’t used much. The program in Paris has caused an increase of 20% in new bike sales.  Increased ridership increases safety for cyclists and with increased safety you will see even more people using the bike as a transportation tool.

 There are times when the program is too popular, like this empty station in the Plaza del Ayuntamiento. This station often is without bikes even though it has 30 posts. It is also a station that accepts credit cards (not all do) which means out-of-towners can get bikes here (only residents are allowed to use Barcelona's system). Fortunately, there was another station a few hundred meters away that had bikes.


El Power Electronics Valencia sigue firme en la tercera plaza de la liga ACB tras lograr un apretado triunfo ante el Unicaja (73-71) en un partido en el que los valencianos fueron casi siempre por delante si bien en el equipo visitante llegó a tener ventaja de un punto en el último minuto. Ambientazo en el pabellón de la Fuente de San Luis ante 7.900 espectadores (

Sunday, April 24, 2011


With a population of under 2,000 the village of Chelva is about 70 kilometers northwest of Valencia. The Tuéjar River flows a the foot of the town and provides a good swimming hole in the summer. Near Chelva is the Roman aqueduct of Peña Cortada. There are a lot of good hikes in this area. A great day trip from Valencia.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Valencia CF - Real Madrid: ¡Sempre Amunt!

Free your schedule today at 18:00. Real Madrid is in town to face Valencia CF. Valencia has been on a hot streak with victories against Getafe, Villarreal, and Almería. Valencia CF has a firm grasp on third place in La Liga assuring them an invitation to next season’s Champion’s League. They have been a true pleasure to watch this season.

Valencia fans are hoping that Real Madrid will be less than spectacular after their game on Wednesday but the way Valencia has been playing lately they can beat anyone.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Copa del Rey: Real Madrid 1-0 FC Barcelona

The New York Times called it an ugly win by Mourinho. I wouldn’t agree. It looked to me that he took Pep Guardiola to school. It doesn’t hurt to have the best goal keeper in the game on your team as Iker Casillas had a brilliant match. As someone watching with me said, "In the second half Barça had possession 90% of the time and Casillas had the other 10%."

Two games down and two more to play for Real Madrid and FC Barcelona. Which team will advance to the finals of the Champions League at Wembley?

Thursday, April 21, 2011


Valenbisi is growing every day with a new station at the Beniferri Metro stop coming online soon. At only 18€ a year you can’t beat the price. A 10 day tourist pass is also available for 10€ which requires a deposit on your credit card. Station maps can be downloaded from the website in PDF format.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Copa del Rey

Don’t forget that tonight is the final for the Copa del Rey (King’s Cup), Spain’s annual football championship. This year it’s FC Barcelona and Real Madrid in the final. The match begins at 21:30 at Valencia’s Mestalla stadium. Tomorrow begins the Easter holiday for most Spaniards so you should expect the party to begin well before game time.

This game will be the third time these two clubs have faced off against each other this season. Barça won 5-0 at Camp Nou and they drew last Saturday at Estadio Santiago Bernabeu. Who will be better in Mestalla?

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Valencia Bike Rides: The Albufera

The Albufera is a vast wetland south of Valencia. It is home to a great many bird species. It's an easy bike ride from Valencia along a trail that skirts the beaches and then winds through woods of sea pines and palmettos. El Palmar is a little village that sits almost like an island in the middle of the wetland. It's also a good spot for a paella.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Bar Canadá

Avenida Regne De Valencia, 54
Barrio: Russafa - Distrito: L'Eixample
46005 (VALENCIA) Valencia
Teléfono: 963 33 11 32
A great terrace for drinks when the weather is good—and the weather is always good. A projection screen TV for football games and a great location on one of Valencia’s most beautiful boulevards. What more do you want?

VIDEO: how does Globexs work?