Friday, September 26, 2014

Not on time in Spain

It's 10:46 pm here in Spain. I am waiting for the sitcom El Chiringuito de Pepe to come on.

A commercial advertising tonight's episode just aired, with the closing line, 'Tonight at 10:30.'

This kind of thing is not an unusual occurrence here.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Lugo most economical tourist destination in Spain, Barcelona most expensive

Lugo, Spain
Barcelona is the most popular tourist destination in Spain. And in this case, high demand means high cost.

Meanwhile, lovely Lugo not only offers a UNESCO World Heritage Site, but the best deal for travelers on average.

According to various media reports, has determined that the Catalan city of Barcelona is Spain's most expensive city for visitors, while Lugo in Galica is the most economical place for travelers.

The travel website compared costs in 52 locations around the country and found the average cost of a one-night stay in a four-star hotel, cocktails for two, a two-course dinner with a bottle of house wine and round-trip taxi fare was highest in Barcelona. The price for that in BCN came to €229.11 ($296.35 / £182.70).

The second most expensive spot was Ibiza at €221.43 ($287.13 / £176.33), followed by Palma, Mallorca at €217.97 ($282.46 / £173.58), Palma de Mallorca €218.27 ($282.96 / £173.83), San Sebastian €211.72 ($274.36 / £168.81) and the capital Madrid €183.65 ($238.01 / £146.26).

At the other end of the scale was Lugo, in Northwestern Spain – the only city in the world completely surrounded by intact Roman walls. A four star hotel and night on the town in this historic tourist spot totaled only €115.73 ($150 / £93.20). 

Murcia offered the second best deal in Spain at €116.52. (151.02 / £92.79). Next up were Ourense at €116.68 ($151.22 / £92.93), Badajoz at €119.82  ($155.29 / £95.43) and Castellon at €124.41 ($161.28 / £99.08).

A night in a four-star hotel Barcelona hotel (€145 / $187.93 / £115.47) costs about as much as a night in a similar hotel in Tarragona, along with drinks, meal and taxi (€143.73 / $186.26 / £114.46). Tarragona is a beautiful beach-side port-city in Catalonia with a rich history, including incredible remains of a Roman amphitheater, forum and circus. It is also home to the impressive National Archaeological Museum of Tarragona.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Read about Catalonia, la Diada, succession and secession

My latest article on Newsvine:

The Diada, Catalonia's 'national' day, was originally about succession, not secession

September 11 is known as la Diada in Catalonia. It is a day that originally commemorated a military defeat that took place on this date in 1714: the fall of Barcelona to Bourbon troops led by the Duke of Berwick after a year long siege. Today the day has been transformed into a celebration of pro-independence nationalism throughout the autonomous…

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

A short look at Madrid (Video)

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Graves, Breast Implants, Sex, Tattoos and Juana la Loca

My Newsvine Articles and Posts with Spain related content, June-September 2014

Article Photo

First mass grave of 14th-century plague victims found in Spain

Photo: An overview of the pit excavated in the Basilica of Sant Just i Pastor. / Irene Gibrat
The Basilica of Sant Just i Pastor, in the heart of Barcelona’s historic Gothic Quarter, has been a place of Christian worship since the fourth century. In recent years it has provided archeologists with rich bounty:

Article Photo

Juana La Loca Syndrome in Venezuela

Juana La Loca Syndrome: that's how one Venezuelan writer describes the rush of his fellow citizens to get tattooed with images of and tributes to Hugo Chavez. Writing in Spain's Estrella Digital, former Radio Caracas Television Internacional reporter Noe Pernia compares the …

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Where to find Dr Pepper in Madrid and around Spain

Before I list places where Dr Pepper is sold, let me explain a few things.

DP is not produced in Spain, so it has to be imported. Usually this is from the UK, but sometimes from other European countries (most often Belgium, Holland and Poland) and occasionally from the USA.

To me, the best tasting ones are from Great Britain, Belgium and, of course, the USA. The ones from Poland are less sweet and so to me are not very good, but some people like Polish DP more for this same reason. The Dr Pepper produced in the Netherlands tastes to me like there is hardly any sugar at all. For this reason, I always check the can to see where it is from. The UK cans are the easiest to spot, as they typically have a clearly visible GB printed on the side. Those from the USA say 12 fl oz instead of the European 330 ml. The others may require reading the small print.

Now, on to where to find find Dr Pepper in Madrid. (Updated 7 September 2014.) I have arranged them by distance to the city center, more or less. Below the city of Madrid locations, I have listed places where DP is sold in other parts of Spain.

Madrid has several Taste of America locations that sell Dr Pepper. These usually have the widest varieties, e.g. not only regular Dr Pepper, but Dr Pepper Zero (what Diet DP is called in Europe), and Cherry Dr Pepper. They have told me that they are looking into getting Dr Pepper 10. (Taste of America also has A&W Root Beer, Mountain Dew, Hawaiian Punch, and more) Here are the Taste of America locations in Madrid:

Calle San Marcos 20
Near Gran Via, in the Chueca area

Calle de la Ribera de Curtidores 39
Near the center of the city, in the Rastro area.

Calle Cea Bermudez 58-60 
Not too far from downtown, located near the Islas Filipinas (line 7) metro station.

Calle Serrano 149
In the 'pijo' (posh) area not too far from the Bernabeu soccer stadium.
Avenida Ensanche de Vallecas 47-49
In the Villa de Vallecas area. A few blocks from the Ikea store located in the La Gavia shopping center.

Isolée sells Dr Pepper at two of its locations:

Calle Infantas 19
28004 Madrid 
Near Gran Via Metro station, in the Chueca area (Just a few blocks from the Taste of America on Calle San Marcos)

Claudio Coello 55
28001 Madrid
Near Serrano Metro station in the Salamanca area.

Near the U.S. Embassy there is a store called Only USA which is similar to Taste of America, carrying Dr Pepper and other U.S. soft drinks and products.

Calle Maria de Molina 18
Nearest Metro: Avenida de America

Only USA has another location that is a bit further out, but not too far from the city center:
Avenida del General Peron 16 
Nearest Metro: Santiago Benabeu

Gourmet Experience at El Corte Ingles  (This place also sells AriZona Teas)
C/ Raimundo Fernández Villaverde (A bit closer to the center than Only USA's General Peron location)
Nearest Metro: Nuevos Ministerios
(I don't know if the other El Corte Ingles stores with Gourmet Experience departments sell DP, but in Madrid they are located in the Gran Via store at Plaza de Callao, 2, and in the store at C/ Goya, 87. There are also Gourmet Experience departments in El Corte Ingles stores in Seville -- Plaza del Duque, 8 -- and in Alicante -- Avenida Federico Soto, 1.)

Other stores that sell Dr Pepper, but which are not near the center, are:

Sanchez Romero Supermercado
Calle Sor Angela de la Cruz 10
Nearest  Metro: Cuzco (Not close to the city center, but not extremely far.)

Sanchez Romero Supermercado
Paseo de la Castellana 196
Next to the Arturo Soria Plaza Shopping Center
Nearest Metro: Plaza de Castilla (A little farther out, but not far from the Sanchez Romero on Calle Sor Angela de la Cruz)

Stores that sell Dr Pepper that are still in the city of Madrid, but which are pretty far from the center are: 

Hipermercado Carrefour Planet Aluche
Centro comercial Plaza Aluche
Av de los Poblados, 58
Nearest Metro: Aluche

Hipermercado Carrefour Hortaleza
Centro Comercial Gran Via de Hortaleza
Nearest Metro: Mar de Cristal

The problem with these Carrefour locations is that the DP is often out of stock and it can take one or more weeks for them to restock it.

Restaurants in Madrid that serve Dr. Pepper:

The Zombie Bar (which bills itself as serving the best burger in downtown Madrid) supposedly serves Dr Pepper. The location is Calle Pez 7, which is in the heart of the city, just a few blocks off Gran Via. I visited and was told, yes, it's on the menu, but they were out. (There was no business sign on the street that I could see, but the place is pretty easy to spot. It looks like a place where a zombie would fit in.)

Peggy Sue's American Diner
Avenida de las Suertes
Telephone: 91 172 90 30
Nearest Metro: Suertes (Very far from downtown, but there seem to be several locations, including some that are centrally located:

Stores that sell Dr Pepper in other Spanish towns and cites:

Taste of America has locations in several towns located outside the city of Madrid, but in the Madrid metropolitan area:

Calle Beatas 3

Plaza de las carretas 3

Calle Francisco Umbral 14

Avenida Olímpica 32
(I have heard that in Alcobendas it is also available at the Sanchez Romero Supermercdo in Moraleja Green shopping center.)

Avenida de Europa 23
(And if this location is out of Dr Pepper, you can go to the Sanchez Romero Supermercado located in the Zielo Shopping Center at number 26 Av de Europa.)

In addition, Taste of America has locations in other cities and towns around Spain:

Av.del Regne de Valencia 6
(In Valencia I have seen Dr Pepper on sale at the Carrefour in the El Saler Shoping Center located at Autopista del Saler 16. This is near the Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias.)

Calle Francos, 12 - 6. (corner of Cesar Augusto) 

Calle Aragones 3

Calle Comedias 11

Plaza Zocodover (c/ Las Armas, 4)

Calle Conde Aranda 1 (on the corner of Cesar Augusto)

Calle Conde Luna 7 (next to Calle Ancha)

There is a Taste of America  location in Barcelona, too. Click here to find out about it and many other places in BCN where DP is available

Dr Pepper is also readily available in Gibraltar. They've even got it in bottles, which I have never seen in Spain. Technically, Gibraltar is not Spain, but hey, it's pretty close. (I once drove out of the place with a trunk full of DP.)

Finally, DP can also be bought online and delivered to your door from:

Please leave a comment or email me if you can help update this list.