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fallas in valencia is a traditional celebration held in commemoration of saint joseph , and a way of waving goodbye to the winter, while welcoming spring.

this is how it goes:

each neighborhood of the city has an organized group of people, the casal faller, that all year long works by holding fundraising parties and dinners, usually featuring  the famous valencia’s dish  “paella”. goal is to construct what is known as falla, in order to eventually burn it!
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fallas:
the fallas, giant papier-mâché figures, often 20 feet tall and more, parade through the city for the 5 day event until the climax on the fifth day. their theme is usually satirical. either political figures, sope stars or movie exotic creatures, the mood is colorful and playful.

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mascletas:

every afternoon at 2pm in plaza del ayuntamiento, an audio firework display takes place.
you already know that spanish people are known to be loud, here you can feel it to the fullest. just imagine that the fireworks and with the terremoto, which means earthquake.

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la desperta.
this is the waking alarm during the fallas. brass bands appear from the casals and begin to march down every street playing lively music . meanwhile,  the valencians offer people free of charge  firecrackers outside their windows at 8am in the morning! So oversleeping after a night out is not an issue.

ofrenda de flores a la virgin de los desamparados:  (the flower offering)
meanwhile with all the firework parade thing going on, another really important event takes place to honour valencia’s patron virgin.
thousands of falleros and falleras arrive to the city from all around the valencian state, wearing traditional costumes and dancing while they wend their way towards plaza de la virgen, to offer bouquets to the giant image of the virgin.
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each of the five fallas days is full of party and celebration, while around the city you can witness the giant figures.

the fourth night, “the night of fire” is when the celebrations draw to an end with an amazing firework display in the paseo de la alameda.

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the fifth night, the climax of the whole fallas event is when the crema (burning) takes place. all around the city, the giant figures are lit up. first the fireworks on them and afterwards the whole falla burns up. traditionally the falla in plaza del ayuntamiento in the one to burn last.

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only the best of all the fallas is left unharmed, winning a place in the fallas museum for all eternity.

fallas 2014
15-19 of march

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have you ever visited the south of spain? even betterhave you ever thought of travelling through the south by car? andalucia is perfect for road trips! this post will introduce you an interesting route through southern spain, even though when travelling by car, plans can change at any minute!
south of spain is amazingsea, sun, history and cultural combination where you will also feel the african influence.

station 1: sevilla
must-see / must-do: plaza españa . real alcazar . tapas tour, go around the city trying the various tapas bars. try patatas bravas, gazpacho (cold tomato soup) and espinacas con garbanzos (spinach with chickpeas) and a lot more..

if you visit sevilla in easter week you will witness the universally famous celebration, that is being held since the 16th century, about 50,000 people parade on traditional robes, easter week is a real experience in sevilla. two weeks later comes the “feria de abril de sevilla” (seville april fair).

for the duration of the fair, the fairgrounds and a vast area on the far bank of the guadalquivir river are totally covered in rows of casetas (individual decorated marquee tents which are temporarily built on the fairground). from around nine at night until six or seven the following morning, at first in the streets and later only within each caseta, you will find crowds partying and dancing “sevillanas”, drinking jerez sherry, or manzanilla wine, and eating tapas

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station 2: cádiz
driving distance: 120 km/ 1h 20min

now you´ve reached the sea. cádiz is the oldest city in western europe. the different people who settled here left an important cultural imprint, whose influence still remains in the character of the city’s people. visit “la victoria”, an immense beach with stretches to the end of the town offering all the services and facilities (bars restaurants etc..)

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station 3: tarifa

driving distance: 105km/ 1h 16min

this paradise is situated in the southest part of cádiz, the southernmost point of the european continent. it is also a great deal for windsurfers and kite surfers. visit “valdevaqueros” and “los lances” beaches, which are ideal for windsurfing.

this small town has a beautiful center with small shops, bars and nightclubs! enjoy exotic cocktails in a hippie ambience.

dont forget to look carefully at the waters horizon where you can see africa !

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the journey is the destination! you will witness amazing views while travelling in the south by car.

make stops at random places and enjoy whatever draws your interest. you will cross numerous beaches and small towns where you can have a break from driving.
benalmádena, estapona and marbella are three good choises

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station 4: malaga

driving distance: 160km/ 1h 45min

one of the oldest cities in the world and birth city of pablo picasso

walk up to the castillo de gibralfaro and get an amazing panoramic view of the city.

during the fair of málaga, in august, the streets of the city center are adorned with paper lanterns and floral displays. booths are set up, there are performances for children and adults, music and dance (especially verdiales, the most characteristic local variant of flamenco), and decked out horses and carriages attempting to make their way through it all. the sounds of flamenco and copla are everywhere, along with less traditional music.

there is bullfighting each afternoon at la malagueta bullring, and after sunset the fair continues at the real.

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station 5: granada

driving distance: 125km/ 1h 25min

although you leave the coast, granada is worth seeing,

visit la alhambra and the caves of sacromonte.
sacromonte offers not only a geographical variety, but also an ethnic one as you can meet arabs, jews but also gypsies that live in a new type of housing, the caves! there are caves in various categories. best known for the visitor are the ones dedicated to zambras: spacious, white and adorned with shiny copper pots. it is essential to approach at least one night to attend a zambra del sacromonte (flamenco dance) in a cave.

nightlife is vibrant thanks to the amount of university population. tapas, exotic cocktails and dancing are a good way of spending time in granada.

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having a car and being free to easily make plan changes on the way gives a completely different air to travelling. a road trip is a special experience. a road trip in the south of spain is an amazing experience!

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the nightlife of barcelona is full of opportunities – you may be sleeping well in your hotel or you can take a chance to discover the night streets of this amazing city, which are so different in the night lights.

choosing the place to spend the night, you should first properly think what kind of experience you are going to get from this night. from another hand, why not just open your mind and became a “yes-man” in order to follow new adventures?Imagen

what can you meet while walking in the night along la rambla for example? tourists – maybe.. but definitely you will meet a crowd of promoters that seeks to catch you and bring to the popular restaurant/club/bar. very often this choice is combined with some “copa gratis” (free drink) or free trip on any public transport.

 talking about places you can be brought in – clubs, pubs, night cafes and live shows – plenty of entertainments for every taste, budget and imagination!

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not forgetting about casinos – for those who are not afraid to take a risk and want to try their luck: casino barcelona, l’alianca del poble nou, Antonio ochando casino, gonzalo casino rubio and other places.Imagen

for travellers who are fond of sightseeing – it is a “must” to check the night-view of the main streets and most famous architectural sights of the city. in the night all surroundings mysteriously change and show their nocturne outfit.

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other alternatives can include enjoying the night performance of flamenco in exclusive places with professional and passionate dancers in like in “tablao de carmen”, “tarantos flamenco show”, “palacio del flamenco”.

nevertheless, if walking further from the main streets, there is a chance to find troubles on your way.

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therefore at this point better not to go alone and follow some essential safety guidelines:

*keep valuables and expensive cameras out of sight unless you need to use it;

*pay attention to your bag, on the street, in the places of interest and even in the restaurants;

*watch out for distraction – often pickpockets work in group, do not let them take your attention by some trick and steal your belongings;

*do not stop to check the map or do something next to suspiciously-looking people.

 

dress suitable and comfortable according to your choice and enjoy

 the night of barcelona!

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have you heard of oviedo?

the beautiful city of northern spain known to be one of the cleanest places, not only in spain, but all of europe.

oviedo, capital of the principality of asturias, is a 30 minute drive from gijon –seaport and largest city of asturias/great surfing destination- and aviles, the industrial city of the principality. all three constitute the three most important cities of asturias. amazing landscapes with natural beauty, green mountains and the atlantic ocean is what you will witness when visiting this amazing part of northern spain. the principality of asturias contains most of the territory that was part of the kingdom of asturias

in the middle ages.                          .in the heart of oviedo lies the cathedral.

 

easy to go around by foot, oviedo, is filled with parks and squares, often decorated with various monuments. in the center of the capital of asturias, lies the old town. beautiful.

 

 

                                                                                                                                                                                             

“el pais de los quesos” –land of the cheese.

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asturias has many regional products to offer, dairy being the main one. the asturian dairy products are found all throughout spain.
enjoy them to their fullest visiting tierra astur. you can find it in all three oviedo/gijon/aviles and have an amazing meal combining all the asturian products. if you enjoy live music and dancing, try visiting the fourth tierra astur restaurant, 5 minutes bus from oviedo, in colloto on a thursday and experience the “espicha”.

standing around a long table getting a full course brought to you and have unlimited access to the sidra barrels that casually lie next to you! meanwhile, some live music is going on and there is enough space for people to start dancing after they are done with dinner.

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this is the main street where you can try sidra, the typical drink that is served in a very specific way by the waiters! you can give it a try yourself!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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el cristo del naranco

if you visit oviedo you have to get to see this statue. its position offers a nice glimpse of the city from above!

 

 

 

 

 

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although oviedo is a small city you will get pleasantly surprised by its nightlife. come weekend, walking through the old town by night is not an easy thing to do, due to the amount of people going out! you can party until the sun comes out! it is amazing how in such a small place the nightlife is so intense!

 

 

 

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do visit oviedo. green, well preserved and pretty. it is really worth seeing.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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on tourism taxation

 

times of fiscal consolidation, cuts, but also increase of taxes to offset budget deficits, especially in southern Europe.

 
on one hand, visitor’s tax that will apply in Catalonia starting as of 1st 2012, payable on spot by end-consumer, shall bring relief in harship catalonian administration budget. progressive in terms of accommodation standard and also number of overnights. so far, few things have been said about its potential deterrent effect in choosing Catalonia as destination by visitors.

 
on another hand, increase of indirect taxation 2-3%, depending on article/service, as of 1st september 2012, it seems to have a clear contractive effect in conssomption within domestic market, and not bring expected results; it is to analyze its direct impact in companies results, as not all the increase has been passed onto the consumer. early to evaluate the impact in habits of foreign visitors at this stage.


it is highly hoped and wished that these new taxation brings its expected effect.

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