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Sleep in Valencia

We are open to suggestions! Where you do not want to stay: Hotel Lotelito. Location was great and that’s the nicest thing I can say. Stressed and depressed people working the reception desk. A room so small, we had to negotiate who could walk around the bed. Not even a closet or drawer for your…

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Do Stuff in Valencia

do stuff in valencia,

Great city for walking, biking and beaching! The city is pretty much dead flat, so biking around is a great option. We highly recommend Luke is an enthusiastic and knowledgeable guide, so you’ll be in good hands. Mercat Central: Visiting the local market is the quickest way to tap into the culture of a city.…

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Drink in Valencia

Drink in Valencia,

Explore the local white wine varietals. Be brave. Taste varietals you won’t taste anywhere else. Look for Merseguera, Malvasia, Pedro Ximenez, or Macebo. Although you can certainly find and enjoy a good Chardonnay, Semillon, or my absolute least favorite: Sauvignon Blanc.  Life is more fun when you taste the local stuff. If your feeling really…

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Cooking In Madrid

Tastes to Try at Home Black squid ink paella: your basic paella but made with squid ink and slices of squid. Served with garlic mayonnaise (aioli) on the side. The aioli was pure white and we had a dinner debate about whether or not it contained whole eggs. My take is that it is commercial…

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Eating in Valencia

You are by sea! Eat fish! Live longer! Then have some paella! El Rall Set in a picturesque square, with fair prices and good, fresh food, its no wonder the locals like to eat here. Seems like they even have apartments to rent, so you never are far from a glass of wine or some…

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Sleeping in Madrid

Tons of hotels, air bnbs…all that you would expect from a major European city. We stayed at the Hostal Central Palace Madrid. Don’t let the word “Hostal” throw you..this isn’t your backpacker’s hostel by any means.  The hotel is discreetly set into a building that borders the massive and stunning Royal Palace of Madrid.  It’s…

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Doing Stuff in Madrid

Walk. Walk a lot. Look up. Marvel at the buildings. Crespo, The Espadrille Store: It looked closed forever when we were there, but Google says its still open. Allegedly the oldest espadrille store in Madrid.  **Update: It IS open. Push thru what looks like a window, which is really a door, and you will be…

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Eating in Madrid

Stuffed olives,

In General: Slow down your day. Dinner is late, kicking into gear around 21:00 (9:00 pm). Most restaurants seem to shut down around midnight. Breakfast is also late: God forbid you want a coffee at 7:30 or 8:00.  Coffee is not my style at all….Americano style (i.e. weak and thin) with hot milk. Churros (fried, extruded…

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Drink in Madrid

vermut, madrid,

There are wine bars everywhere. Spanish wine is very good. Craft beer is everywhere. The bottled water isn’t salty like it is in Barcellona. But you’re here to drink vermut (also know as vermouth and elixir of the gods). Sometimes it comes with an orange slice. Sometimes with a pickled onion. In Barcelona you get…

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