Monday, July 30, 2012

VLC Valencia Tourist Card

Valencia Tourist Card is the easiest and cheapest way of exploring the city and getting around Valencia. It offers free public transport service and free entry to the places of interest. It also offers discounts in more than 150 establishments and tourist services such as museums, leisure activities, shops, restaurants and more in the city of Valencia.

Usage and Where to buy Valencia Tourist Card? The Valencia Tourist Card can be used for either 1, 2 or 3 days. The VLC Tourist card can be purchased and available from:

Tourist offices at Reina, Town Hall, Renfe, Plaza del Ayuntamiento, beach and Airport; Valencia Congress Centre; City of Arts and Sciences (Ciutat de les Arts i les Sciències); Hotels, hostels, rental apartments, kiosks and tourist services companies.

Online from;;;;;;

Further information can be found at

Saturday, July 28, 2012

How to Make a Tortilla de Tomates

Remember that a Spanish tortilla is much, much more than an omelet. If you haven't perfected the Spanish technique for this egg dish you need to work on it. It's worth the trouble and especially now when the local tomatoes are so incredibly good.

Friday, July 27, 2012

2012 London Olympics

The 2012 London Olympics kick off today with the opening ceremonies along with a number of events. The schedule for the games can be found here 

The Olympic Games is the biggest sporting event on the planet. With 26 sports, 10,500 athletes and millions of spectators, it’s going to be a busy summer. 

The Opening Ceremony is a celebration showcasing the best of the Host Nation. It also features a parade of all competing nations and the highly anticipated entrance of the Olympic Flame, which ignites the Cauldron and signals the start of the Games.
The eyes of the world will be on London for the Opening Ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games. The Ceremony will provide an opportunity for the world to view the artistic expression of the Artistic Director (Danny Boyle) and his team, and the culture of our Host City and the UK. There are certain elements that must feature in every Ceremony, as outlined in the International Olympic Committee (IOC) charter. The artistic performance of the Ceremony then gets underway and welcomes the world to the London 2012 Games.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Roman Theater in Sagunto

The Young People's Orchestra of Valencia performs tonight at the Roman Theater in Sagunto at 22:30h. This kicks off a month of activities in this converted 1st century Roman theater. For more information visit their website. There will be music, dance, and plays until the end of August.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Summer in Valencia

It would be hard to beat this little corner of the Mediterranean during the summer months. Valencia has a wonderful climate and during these days of summer it has been absolutely perfect. It's a great time to take a bike ride to the beach or have a cup of coffee in a downtown café. Alfresco dining is the only way to go. The daytime high temperatures are barely above 30 and it drops down to about 20 degrees in the evening. This is at a time when England is suffering through one of the coldest, wettest summers on record. What are you waiting for? Find a flight to Valencia and forget about all of that.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Patatas Bravas My (Newest) Way

One of the most ubiquitous dishes in all of the Iberian Peninsula is patatas bravas, generous lumps of fried potato that should be crisp on the outside and tender and soft on the inside.  One of my friends here even started a patatas bravas Facebook page to alert people to good places to find them. As common as patatas bravas are in the bars in Spain there are few places that do this dish justice.  I would have to say that, in general, the bars of Madrid do a much better job with bravas than here in Valencia.

I’ve tried making patatas bravas at home with varying degrees of success and countless degrees of utter failure.  I don’t have an oil thermometer which is essential if you are using the twice-fried method, and the twice-fried way makes the best fried potatoes. I recently experimented with a par-boiled method in which I boil the cut and peeled potatoes in salted water, making sure not to cook them very much. You are just looking to make them a bit tender because anything more and they will fall apart when you cook them again in hot oil. I never even brought the potatoes to a boil but turned off the heat as the water approached a boil and left the potatoes to sit in the covered pot. I set my timer so that I didn’t leave them too long. I can’t say exactly how long to cook them or just when I decided to drain them. After I drained them I immediately put them in the freezer to halt the cooking process. I timed this, too, so that they wouldn’t freeze. Once they had cooled completely they are ready to fry in hot sunflower seed oil.

I topped these potatoes off with my fiercely-garlicky alioli.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Spain: On the Road Again Episode 1

Spain... on the road Again is a 2008 American food and travel series produced by PBS (Public Broadcast System). The show features Iron Chef Mario Batali, actress Gwyneth Paltrow, New York Times food writer Mark Bittman, and Spanish actress Claudia Bassols. Each episode covers a different region of Spain as the foursome explore the country's culinary traditions and history.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Not Another Paella Video!

One of the best video explaining paella for the beginner. The recipe itself is pretty terrible but it's worth it to watch the video just for the information about the history of paella.

Monday, July 16, 2012

From Spain With Love

Another popular American/Canadian television cooking show about Spain.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Last Day of San Fermin

Spanish for Beginners

Learning another language is an uphill battle, a hopeless quest, an impossible dream, and a life-long commitment. There is no easy way to go about this task but my philosophy is to attack the problem on as many levels as possible. These video lessons may help you.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

San Fermin Festival

The encierro (the running of the bulls) in Pamplona during San Fermin is something that you can watch every morning at 08:00 on Tele1 on Spanish television. There are two days left this year so set your alarm, watch the event, and then you can go back to bed five minutes later.

The Beatles in Valencia!

Beer and Skewer Thursdays. Live music. Remember The Beatles with The Blisters, a group that allows you to relive, remember and enjoy the music, the history and the magic of the legendary Liverpool quartet. 20:30 @ Palau de la Música North Gardens. All part of Valencia's Feria de Julio.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Chef Mario Batali's Seafood Salad

An American chef trained in Italy, Mario Batali is one of the most innovative chefs today. This seafood salad is great for a hot afternoon in Valencia.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Flights to Spain more expensive

An extra tax has been introduced for passengers travelling to Spain by air. Those taking a flight to a Spanish destination, will have to pay 2 to 9 euros extra. The Spanish government introduced the tax as an austerity measure, to have more tax revenues in hard times.

The decision was taken on 30 June and applies to all tickets that were booked as from 1 July. That's unusual, as new airport taxes are normally announced two months before they come into force.

Ryanair has the intention to go back in time to collect the cash, Brussels Airlines will only adapt the prices for new tickets.

Geert Sciot of Brussels Airlines is not amused with the change: "For Spain, you will be paying 7, 8 or 9 euros more, depending on your destination. For some airports, it's only 2 euros. However, if you travel to Barcelona or Madrid, the two biggest airports, with a family of four this means 25 to 30 euros extra. We have to pay that amount to the company that operaties the airport in Spain. And I am afraid that we will have to pass the bill to the passengers."


Bus, Metro, Valenbisi to the Beach

EMT Valencia (Empresa Municipal de Transportes) can get you to where you need to be in Valencia. A ten ride bus card that you can buy in any Tobacco shop costs only 6€.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Valencia Day Trips: Sagunto

Just north of Valencia is the city of Sagunto famous for it's hilltop fortress and 1st century Roman theater.  It's about 30 minutes by train and the ticket is 5.15€. The ruins are a bit of a hike from the station but this means that you'll have the place more or less to yourself.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Cool and Refreshing Yogurt and Cucumber Soup

Perfect for these hot days of summer. Simple yet delicious and even elegant. This dish seems more Greek than Spanish but who cares? Here's another version with a few twists.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Bringing expats in Spain closer together

Who can help an expatriate better than another expatriate? Julien Eb understands this better than anyone. He created a fantastic website which in only 7 years has grown to become one of the most important references for expats all over the world.

Expats worldwide, surf to "". You will find a treasure of information regarding expat life in many countries, including of course Spain and Belgium. The website was originally created to help expatriates. At first, the idea was to gather on a unique platform all the expatriates’ blogs all over the world. As a matter of fact, only expatriates’ blogs can provide accurate information about day to day life abroad. Since 2005, Expat blog has become a support website for expatriates and the ones wishing to live abroad. You can find answers to all your questions regarding expatriation: moving, cost of living, work, accommodation, etc. 

And here is when it becomes really interesting for Globexs customers: to help expats and soon-to-be expatriates in Spain, two new sections have been recently launched: Jobs and Housing.

If you are looking for a job in Spain, you can create your CV and have a look at the jobs offers. 

Keep up the good work Julien! Thanks for bringing all expats closer together.

Best regards from Valencia, Spain!

Spain vs Italy @ 20:45


Every two or four years there is one player who generally eclipses all others in lighting up proceedings and performing with such grace that a particular finals are considered 'their tournament'.

Four years ago in Austria and Switzerland it was Xavi Hernández who was feted for his metronomic range of passing as Spain ended over four decades of disappointment. Now similar acclaim could be heading Andrea Pirlo's way if Italy defeat the holders in the UEFA EURO 2012 final.

Coming off the back of a stellar season with Juventus – in which he appeared in all but one game during the Bianconeri's unbeaten, Scudetto-winning campaign – Pirlo has been the Azzurri's orchestrator-in-chief in Poland and Ukraine. A classic 'regista', he has directed play from his deep-lying position behind Italy's narrow midfield three.

A sumptuous free-kick against Croatia, a couple of assists and three Carlsberg Man of the Match awards – more than any other player – mean he will be the man his team-mates and coach Cesare Prandelli look to on Sunday night.

"Our central midfield has a lot of quality in it; we can run and press the ball a lot there and we have a great player who can raise the level, Andrea Pirlo," said Prandelli at the pre-final press conference. "Often the other players just work to get the ball to him, to give him space so he can dictate things."
He did just that in the quarter-final against England a week ago, completing a EURO record 117 passes, albeit with the aid of extra time. And who can forget that Panenka-style spot-kick in the pressure situation of the penalty shoot-out?

His head-to-head with Xavi at Kyiv's Olympic Stadium is certainly one for the purists. The FC Barcelona playmaker is part of what Sir Alex Ferguson famously called the Blaugrana's "passing carousel" – and with good reason. With club-mate Sergio Busquets alongside him, Xavi has executed more passes in the tournament than anybody else, his total of 455 being 101 more than Pirlo.

Both players have won the FIFA World Cup, but for Xavi history beckons, with no player having appeared in two victorious EURO finals. "We have achieved great things," said Xavi, at 32 eight months Pirlo's junior. "We are very lucky to have a great generation of footballers.

"We want to continue creating history and we have another chance. We want to enjoy it and we are lucky because it's our second [EURO] final. We want to show everybody that this side is still hungry for success and that our football is good."

For Xavi, Spain's cycle of success started when Vicente del Bosque's predecessor took the reins. "Luis [Aragonés] was the turning point," said Xavi after UEFA EURO 2008. "He took a gamble on the little guys. That started with him; putting players like [Andrés] Iniesta, [Santi] Cazorla, Cesc Fàbregas, [David] Silva and [David] Villa in the team."

It was theme to which he returned in the press conference. "I feel lucky because several years ago football had a tendency to be more physical," explained Xavi. "We want to produce spectacular games. Footballers like Pirlo and players of Spanish and Italian teams play a similar style, so I'm very happy, happy that the tendency is to really play and attack more." Few would argue with that.

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