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.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Where to get Dr Pepper in Barcelona

This past weekend I moved to Madrid from Barcelona. Before leaving BCN I put together this list of places that sell imported Dr Pepper:

Taste of America
Calle Balmes, 322
Barcelona 08006

A Taste of Home: The English Supermarket
C/ Floridablanca 78
Barcelona 08015

Krakoviak Polish Specialties.
Calle de Sicília 324-332
Barcelona 08025

Carrefour Market Ramblas
Rambla de los Estudios, 113
Barcelona 08002
(Dr Pepper lovers have me to thank for this: I kept asking until they finally started stocking it a couple of years ago. It seems to be a very popular item. Unlike the Dr Pepper sold in the Carrefour Planet locations below, it is stocked in the regular soft drink section, which is on the ground floor, not in the foreign foods section AKA Sabores del Mundo, located on the basement level.)

Carrefour Planet Hipermercado La Maquinista
La Maqunista Shopping Center
Paseo Potosí, 2
Barcelona 08030

Carrefour Planet  Hipermercado Gran Vía 2
Avda. Gran Vía 75-93
L´Hospitalet del Llobregat 08908
(This one is just a few blocks outside Barcelona city limits, not far from Plaza de España. One pain in the neck about these two locations is that they don't stock as much as the Ramblas location does, so don't be surprised if they are out. Sometimes they are out for one week, sometimes several weeks. I have only seen the Dr Pepper supply at the Ramblas location out of stock once, and that was only for a few days.)

The little Carrefour Express location at Calle Nou de la Ramblaalso sells Dr Pepper.

The Carrefour hypermarket location at Las Glories (which is not as huge as the Planet stores) has never stocked Dr Pepper that I know of. I only asked a couple of times, but that was because it was not a location I went to much.

Via Laietana 15

C/ Diputacion 314

The following little Pakistani-owned convenience stores sell Dr Pepper:

Sol Bruc 70
Calle Bruc 70
Barcelona 08037

Frutas y Verduras
Calle Trafalgar 48
Barcelona 08010

Psg. de Colom 2
Barcelona  08002

La Bodegueta
Calle Joaquin Costa 28
El Raval
Barcelona 08001
(Some other Pakistani-owned shops on this same street also sell Dr Pepper.)

In Barceloneta, near the beach, the following Pakistani-owned convenience stores sell Dr Pepper:

Calle Dr. Aiguader 1
08003 Barcelona
(Literally just outside the Barceloneta Metro station. There are two little stores next to each other. The one to the right usually has Dr Pepper.) 

Psg. Joan de Borbo 1
Barcelona 08003

Psg. Joan de Borbo 26
Barcelona 08003

Supermarket (that's the name over the door)
Corner of C/ Andrea Doria and C/ Atlantida
Barcelona 08003
(Located on the eastern side of Barceloneta's Public Market)

Supermercat del Mar
C/ Miquel Boera 11
Barcelona 08003
(Where Sant Carles street ends at the steps to the seafront)

The Bangladeshi community is much smaller than the Pakistani one in Barcelona, but at least on Bangladeshi business sells Dr Pepper:

Av. Marina 94
Barcelona 08018 

Please leave a comment or email me in order to update this list.

Click here for my Dr Pepper in Madrid and more list, as well as to read about how Dr Pepper can have different flavors depending on where it is imported from. 

P.S. There is also little Pakistani store on Ronda Universitat (31? 33?) near Pl Catalunya that sells Dr P. If anyone knows the name and exact address, please let me know so I can add the details.