FUN-travel: Chiva to Barcelona, Spain

September 14, 2012 by · Comments Off on FUN-travel: Chiva to Barcelona, Spain 

Trip Day 51 – Thursday, August 30 – Chiva to Barcelona, Spain

Placa de Catalunya


Casa de lesPunxes

  • our neighbor called to see if we were back yet & to tell us everything was fine & they were leaving to go to Hawaii
  • 9:00 – ready to go to hit the road for Barcelona
  • 11:00 – starts raining
  • 1:30 – arrive airport Hertz
  • didn’t have any accidents in Spain
  • TI @ airport finds us a **** room in Eixample for only $137 Euro
  • 3:00 – taxi to downtown $30 Euros
  • Gallery Hotel is in great location – big comfy room
  • 7:15 – nice big walk to ECI – El Corte Engles for provisions
  • you can get an additional 18% vat tax back on items you don’t consume


  • 8:45 – dinner Tenorio – tomato, mozzarella, tuna belly salad & broad beans with ham & shrimp – mushrooms & duck with fried egg on top & tomato bread with parmesan slices – Pagode los Capellanes, Ribera wine is young & fruity
  • 10:15 – rain stops – only short walk back to hotel

Placa de Catalunya


  • cell phone rang @ 6:20 am
  • now worried something might be wrong back home
  • can’t get coffee until 7:00
  • don’t have a room reservation
  • ECI gives non-residents 10% off everything and no one told us until now
  • walk out and it’s pouring rain – no umbrella

FF (FUN-fact) – Barcelona is Spain’s second largest city and their motto is, “You’re not in Spain, You’re in Catalunya!”

FUN-travel: Chiva & Buñol, Spain

September 10, 2012 by · Comments Off on FUN-travel: Chiva & Buñol, Spain 

Trip Day 49 – Tuesday, August 28 – Chiva & Buñol , Spain


Tomato Contest

  • good hot coffee on patio
  • Chris found connection for a balcony on internet & have appt @ 11 am
  • 9:45 – drive to Buñol
  • find parking close to main square
  • in pursuit of a balcony
  • walk up Cid (main street for festival)
  • many people wrapping & draping their apartment homes with blue tarps
  • (tomato stains stucco – need to keep it off)
  • see family with corner home & roof top on 4th story
  • looks like a good place to be
  • walk over and ask in Spanish “Is it possible to rent a balcony?”
  • they said, “Si”
  • the rest is history
  • get interviewed by local TV station
  • 11:30 – connect with Jacopo
  • wonderful young man from Italy who books balconies for festivals
  • his tag line is “Being there, but without the crowds”
  • he likes our rooftop so we introduce him to the family
  • 2:00 – lunch in Plaza Layana – full of young people partying
  • order pizza to be safe
  • 3:00 – back to hotel in Chiva

Locals Hanging Out on Cid

  • siesta

Cid At Sunset

  • 7:30 – drive back to Buñol
  • Cid is closed to traffic
  • 7:00 – tomato contest – judges are rating the locally grown tomatoes
  • street is lined with locals on both sides
  • have set up tables with food & drinks
  • street has colorful lighted decorations strung across it
  • lots of music & people strolling
  • get table on street – great people watching
  • have beer & paella
  • 10 pm – head back to Chiva
  • stayed here because they had a *** hotel


  • didn’t get good directions for meeting Jacopo
  • wandered around for 30 minutes trying to find him
  • more mediocre pizza
  • wished we would have stayed in Buñol
  • only ** hotels here
  • Chiva hotel needs some TLC & maintenance

FF (FUN-fact) – One of the most popular theories is that disgruntled townspeople attacked city councilmen with tomatoes during a town celebration. Whatever happened to begin the tradition, it was enjoyed so much that it was repeated the next year, and the year after that, and so on. The holiday was banned during the Spanish State period under Francisco Franco for having no religious significance, but returned in the 1970s after his demise.

FUN-travel: Granada to Chiva & Buñol, Spain

September 4, 2012 by · Comments Off on FUN-travel: Granada to Chiva & Buñol, Spain 

Trip Day 48 – Monday, August 27 – Granada to Chiva & Buñol, Spain

Buñol Plaza de Puebla


Cid – Street for La Tomatina

  • up and ready to go to next big adventure!
  • (same coffee, fruit, sandwich to-go experience)
  • 10:30 head out
  • drive looks a lot like the mountains close to Yuma, AZ
  • make good time
  • arrive 4:15
  • drive to Buñol takes 10 mins
  • 1st stop – beer break
  • 2nd stop – Buñol Hotel & ask about La Tomatina & getting a balcony
  • very helpful young women @ front desk tells us about the Paella Cook-off  happening @ 7 PM
  • town is terraced on a steep hill
  • snake down streets
  • find the castle, the church, the main square – Plaza de Puebla
  • 6:45 – need to eat – find pizza place – mediocre at best but I’m really hungry
  • 7:15 – walk one block to street by the park, over four blocks long, lined on both sides with families & groups cooking their paella
  • consists of sand on the pavement to create fire pit, stack of firewood, a metal stand to make stove, & big round metal pans of varying sizes with handles (like a huge wok with the bottom cut flat)
  • unlike anything I’ve ever seen!


Paella Cook-off

  • have to drive 330 miles
  • no luck finding a balcony

FF (FUN-fact) – The tomato fight has been a strong tradition in Buñol since 1944 or 1945. No one is completely certain how this event originated.