July 2014

Why There Are So Many Churches in Europe

Chuck Thu, 2014-07-31 07:30
The Gold-Adorned Ceiling of Valencia's Iglesia Parroquial de San Martín It can be said that it's hard to see Europe through all the cathedrals. It's true: every time you turn around in Europe, you find another cathedral. Well, technically, you find another church : a cathedral is supposed to be the home of a bishop. Here in Valencia, we've visited about a half-dozen churches, and the only place outside the old town area we've journeyed to is the beach. In one particular spot, if Lori and I were to join hands and stretch arms out, we could just about touch both the Cathedral of Valencia and...

Our Top 5 Favorite Foods in Valencia

Chuck Wed, 2014-07-30 07:30
As our profiles say, we're dining, wining, and dancing our way through Europe. We've really enjoyed the food and drink in Valencia, and here's our countdown of our top 5 favorites. 5. Wine, Sangria, and Beer...Oh My! It's tasty, cold, and inexpensive! Muy frio cerveza! Chuck's favorites: Mahou and San Miguel NOBODY makes Sangria like Valencians! 4. The Seafood It's great being on the Mediterranean and tasting the fruit of the sea! Steamed Mussels - Lori's Favorite! Fresh Fish at the Market Captain's Platter Spanish Style! 3. The Fresh Fruits and Vegetables Fresh from the market every day...

Europe's Church Relics: A Matter of Faith

Chuck Tue, 2014-07-29 07:30
The Holy Grail (Courtesy of Our Friends at EverywhereOnce.com ) A few weeks ago we laid eyes on the chalice that Jesus used at the Last Supper, more commonly known as The Holy Grail. In Bruges, Belgium we've seen a cloth soaked with Jesus' blood, collected by Joseph of Arimathea. In Rome, we saw the steps Saint Helen removed from the front of Pontius Pilate's palace, upon which Jesus stood as he was accused and condemned and on which drops of his blood can still be seen to this day. Even back home in the states we've seen splinters of what many believe are Jesus' cross, also taken by Saint...

Valencia's Mercado Central

Chuck Mon, 2014-07-28 07:30
Anyone who reads our blog regularly or who knows us knows that we love the markets in Europe, and in Valencia we've found the granddaddy of all markets. Now I'm talking about fresh food markets, not a shopping center. Sometimes the markets are permanent installments in their community, sometimes they are morning markets on a certain day of the week. They are usually bustling, exploding with sights, sounds, and smells, and full of local people selling (mostly) locally-produced products. Here in Valencia, that makes for an awesome confluence of sun-drenched fruits (yes, like oranges), hams and...

Top 5 Things You Might Not Know About Bull Fighting

Chuck Sun, 2014-07-27 07:30
Warning: irreverent humor ensues. 5. There is a league. The President of the league (no less) scored the toreadors the night I went, on merit of style and artistry, I suppose. There might even be a matador union, which might explain their uniforms. 4. There are ticket scalpers. I was harassed by one as I stood in line at the ticket window. He tried unsuccessfully to sell me multiple tickets in seats in the sun. I wanted only 1 in the shade. I only managed to shake him by pretending not to understand Spanish, which was pretty easy, really. 3. There are programs. More like giant tabloids, full...

Ode to Edward

Chuck Sat, 2014-07-26 07:30
Alas, poor Edward! I knew him, Lori. He was an endlessly happy creature, so strong, so virile. Why, I rode on his back a thousand times! And now, thinking about it is so horrible, it just irks me to no end. Right here were the big cow lips I kissed--I don't know--a million times? Where are your snorts now? Where are your futile charges? Your pawing at the sand? Your moments of dazed confusion that made the whole arena cheer, ole! You've got not a single of these left to mock that grin you have!

A Bullfight in Valencia, Spain

Chuck and Lori's Travel Blog - Chuck at a bullfight, Valencia
Chuck Fri, 2014-07-25 07:30
I went to a bull fight in Valencia, Spain this past Saturday. To go wasn't exactly an easy decision, but I'm glad I did. If for no other reason, I can objectively report to you what I saw. A little about my nature: I don't really consider myself an "animal rights person", but I also don't care for wonton and cruel killing of animals. I'm a proud omnivore, personally, but I have nothing against vegetarians. I support people's rights to hunt, though I've never personally gone hunting. I can see the argument in support of Spain's bull fighting as a cultural tradition, but it's not my personal...

Flamenco in Valencia

Chuck and Lori's Travel Blog - Flamenco in Valencia
Chuck Thu, 2014-07-24 07:30
They exchange glances, only for a moment, their eyes returning quickly, demurely to the floor. Their hands slowly raise over their heads, the heavy soles of their shoes beat out a rhythm increasingly more frenetic than the Spanish guitar and the distinctly Moorish vocals in the background, and they begin to turn, slowly at first, just enough that the frills of her dress begin to fan out in all directions. The song becomes a mournful wail, overflowing with emotion and intensity. In response, they begin to move across the small floor, towards each other, and as they pass they spin around each...

Meet Spain's New King: Felipe VI

Chuck Wed, 2014-07-23 07:30
Spain's King Felipe VI (Photo from King Felipe and Queen Letizia, daughters and princesses Leonor and Sofia, with the outgoing King Juan Carlos ("Pop-pop" as he's known to the girls) Felipe attended a "regular" school in Madrid, where he wouldn't receive special treatment, and high school in Canada. He came home to Madrid to attend college, earning a law degree and a Master's in Foreign Service. As the Prince of Asturias (the formal title for the heir to the throne, unless of course you're Princess of Asturias, as Princess Leonor now is), he made hundreds of diplomatic trips around the world...

King of Spain Juan Carlos I's Surprise Moves: Coming and Going

Chuck Tue, 2014-07-22 07:30
King Juan Carlos I of Spain, 1975 - 2014 Americans might have missed that Spain recently coronated a new monarch, King Felipe VI, son of the outgoing Juan Carlos I, who--in a move that surprised the world--abdicated his throne a few months ago. Citing the need for a younger generation to take on Spain's current economic challenges, King Juan Carlos, voluntarily relinquished his power to his son. It would be truly surprising if he hadn't voluntarily relinquished power before. Before we get to that, you should realize that the Spanish monarchy isn't as much a figurehead as the British monarchy...

Playa Malvarrosa Beach, Valencia, Spain

Chuck Mon, 2014-07-21 07:30
One of the reasons we decided to go to Valencia was to go to the beach. Chuck asked me where I wanted to spend July, and I said somewhere with a beach. So here we are. Unfortunately, we couldn't stay right on the beach but staying in the old town has been fun, too. We are only about a mile and a half from the beach, just a short tram ride away. Valencia is located on the southeastern coast of Spain along the Mediterranean Sea. The beaches run north and south along the edge of the city above and below a large port. There are several named beaches north of the port that are easy to get to and...

The Architecture of Valencia: The Classical

Chuck Sat, 2014-07-19 07:30
Valencia's Town Hall ("Ajuntament") Valencia has a unique classical architecture. We'll call it "Valencian". It's something of an ornate blend of mediterranean Europe with functional artistic embellishment. In the center of the old city, only two blocks from our apartment for the month, is the Plaça de l'Ajuntament, a large fountain-filled plaza flanked on one side by the town hall (Ajuntament) and on the other by the post office. You can also see it here in our YouTube video "Noon in Valencia". The buildings are splendidly--but not overly so--decorated with gleaming bronze domes and towers...