Saturday, October 30, 2010

Article: From Madrid by AVE

From Madrid by AVE

Well worth a good look for days out from Madrid.

From Madrid by AVE

Jeanine Barone uses Madrid’s excellent rail network to explore eight of the nation’s most impressive sights.

When I’m battling Madrid’s car-choked boulevards or rubbing shoulders with Madrilenos in congested Puerta del Sol, vineyards, mountain oases and medieval villages seem a distant fantasy. But, in fact, Madrid is positioned perfectly for stress-free day trips, thanks to abundant train connections and an extensive network of high-speed trains, referred to as AVE. These are eight of my favourite day-long train trips from the capital.


A stroll along the city’s whitewashed lanes offers a glimpse of Spain’s Moorish past. The fortified Alcazar de los Reyes Cristianos is the best example of this, with its exquisite patios, gardens, gushing fountains and placid pools. The former capital of the Islamic empire in Spain, Cordoba has one of the largest mosques in the world, the Mezquita. I step through the doorway and I’m struck by the juxtaposition of King Carlos V’s Christian cathedral built inside the mosque. The city’s Muslims once performed their ablutions in the lovely orange tree-studded patio.

For the rest of the article, and it is well worth a read if you are thinking of a day out from Madrid, go here

Story from The Age


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Thursday, October 28, 2010

Article: STRIKES IN FRANCE » Culture Spain – for all things Spanish

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Article: Gandia Tourist Information » Gandia celebrates 500 years of Borja

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The Final One Of Our 100 Tips For Moving To Spain | Houses for Sale in Spain

Tip Number 100 of our tips for people moving to Spain, the final one. A story about how the series came into being and how it developed. Check out the full post and video too and get back to me with your thoughts on Twitter, Facebook or on the blog itself. Thanks for paying attention for the last three months.

YouTube - How would you bootstrap a business if you were given £10?

Matt Cutts from Google answers the question that formed the basis of our book "The Secrets of Working and Making a Living in Spain" how do you start up a business online for nothing, ie how do you bootstrap a business?


Wednesday, October 27, 2010

All Of Our Agents Are Busy At The Moment

Great blog by Mike at Mike's Life. I just so know this feeling!

via Mike's Life - Life Can Get Better! by Mike on 9/30/10

I've wasted far too much of my precious time this week doing things that should have been simple, and so I'm going to rant about one of them as therapy. If you enjoy a good rant, get stuck in with me, and if you don't, maybe come back tomorrow.


I'm going to talk about my mobile telephone provider. My frustration with them was already at a certain level, because in order to get my bill each month, I have to visit their website because they can't, apparently, email it to me. Not that onerous though Mike, you say? Well, it shouldn't be, but they have changed the layout and navigation of their website every single month this year. I'm not exaggerating either, every month I have to re-learn which series of buttons I need to input in order to get my bill and therefore have the privilege of paying it! None of this is helped by the fact that I am working in my second language, but I do appreciate that is my problem and not theirs.

This month was no different - I was confronted with a snazzy new look, but when I went to get the bill all I got was an equally snazzy "Sorry, that service is not available at the moment, please try later."

So I focused on changing the bank details, and once I'd fathomed where I needed to go, I was once again confronted with the same message. Over three days, I tried and found the same problem. Clearly, the monthly website re design was more important than actually making the thing work.

And that was when I made the big mistake.

I decided to call them. The system is answered by a robot, who has been designed to take certain information from you, presumably to ensure you get through to the right department. The robot has an annoying nasal male voice and he has been programmed by the longest winded person ever born. The first message should be something like "Please key in your mobile telephone number." But that's far too simple, isn't it? The actual message is more like this: "In order to establish your identity, and to ensure that we put you through to the correct department, please use the keypad on your telephone to input the nine digits of your mobile telephone number."

Why use 7 words when 35 will do, especially when I'm paying for the call?

Each question is similarly verbose, and by the time I'd finished answering them, six minutes had elapsed. But I'd finally got to the point where the robot was telling me that "All of our agents are busy at the moment, but your call will be answered in a few minutes."




I went through the procedure again and used up a further six minutes. This time, I managed to stay in the holding pattern, like some forlorn 747 that ATC has forgotten about. For another ten minutes.

I know the short tune they play between the "All of our agents are busy." messages by heart now. In fact I woke up in the middle of last night singing it, and bathed in sweat.

But getting back to the story, I was finally through to Naira, who I just know is lovely. And she was excellent. She was helpful, and solved my problem very quickly. For the moment, the hour or so of my wasted time, spread over three days faded in the glow of her soothing tones and professionalism. I thanked her and we said goodbye.

And then the robot called me!

I recognised his voice straight away, and in his inimitable way, he said something like: "As a valued customer, your business is very important to us, and yada, yada yada.." I put the phone down.

He called me back. I binned the call. And then I realised he wouldn't give up.

The next time he called I was ready. I made a coffee, and drank it. All while he delivered his preamble. This was going to be fun. We finally got to the survey, after he'd explained in great detail how I should rate each element of service. But all he wanted to know about was what I thought of Naira. He asked nothing about himself, or the waiting time.

Distraught, and with Naira now firmly implanted in my brain as a doe eyed señorita who was working there to support her poor family, I could do nothing but score her well. After all, she had done a good job for me.

Presumably, the CEO has a report on his desk right now, telling him that 90% of customers love the new automated phone system. And I'm guessing that they're working, as I type, on an automated replacement for Naira.

What's the answer?

If you are the CEO, president or Managing Director of a company, I implore you, I beg you. Set yourself up a dummy account, and once a month, randomly, use your website and call in to your business to make some simple administrative change.

It's the only way you will ever feel the pain your clients feel, and the only way you'll ever know the truth when your customer surveys are created some some mealy mouthed little git, whose only interest is in protecting his own backside.

Can I entice you to read more stuff like this? If so, I think you'll enjoy my newsletter, which you can join by putting your name and email address into the boxes top right.

If you don't want to do that, here are three more you might enjoy:

1/ How much time do we waste booking airline tickets?

2/ Time

3/ How Twitter sent the very first Lexus back home

Sevilla Here I Come (And London Too)

So I am off to London on Friday then. And Seville is knocking on the door soon too. Busy month coming up

via Entrepreneur Solo by Entrepreneur Solo on 10/10/10

So I have booked my flight, Ryanair but cheap as chips, Valencia to Seville and I will finally get to see Sevilla. However the real reason I am off down to Seville between the 19th and 21st of November is to go to the #EBE10 conference, a conference with 2500 Spanish bloggers attending. Hopefully I will be able to show a lot of them the inner workings of Market Samurai and present to them the Desafio de Internet which looks like we will be starting after the event.

Holiday Home Buyers Eye European Bargains

This article is reflecting what I am seing on the ground. Not been this busy since 2006 on a consistent basis

via Spanish Property News by diane on 10/25/10

British buyers are back out in force. According to new research from PrimeLocation, thousands of British buyers are scouring Europe’s biggest markets — Spain, Portugal, Italy, Ireland and Greece looking for bargain properties.

The portal says that searches in these countries increased by 134% in the year to end August 2010. According to the report it is most likely to be holiday home buyers attempting to capitalise on the economic situation to bag a bargain.

Searches for Spanish property grew the most; climbing by 145.7% during the portal. Searches for Portuguese property climbed the second highest amount with a growth of 123.9%. Italy was third with 98.9%, followed by Greece with 55.3% and Ireland with 44.1%.

‘The economic difficulties in these countries have been well documented and they have contributed towards a huge surge of activity in Brits searching for properties in these markets,’ said Ann Wright, international development manager at Primelocation.

Wright said that while prices fell sharply at the start of the crisis, they have held firm in recent times, which could be triggering the increase in activity as buyers believe the markets are finding a bottom.

‘In the case of properties in the Mediterranean they have held up well as demand from overseas buyers remains strong,’ she added.

In that case, it is surprising the Spain comes above Portugal, Spanish property prices are still either falling or stagnant depending which index you peruse, while Portugal property prices were up 2.9% year on year in Q2, after growing during 2009.

Primelocation believes that foreign buyers are and will continue to support prices in the popular markets. This seems to be confirmed by the 18.9% year on year fall in Irish property prices recorded in Q1, Ireland of course being least popular with foreign buyers.

Story from Property Abroad


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Football and Religion. Two things you need to know about if you come to Spain. In bars, restaurants and parks all you will hear are people talking about football and the respective merits of Barcelona and Madrid. Football is religion. However, religion is sort of the opposite, you need to have an opinion but rarely is it voiced. religion as the opium of the people as Marx, Karl not Groucho, said? Not now. Football is the opiate!


Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Your Home Comforts in Spain. Mentioning the evil Marmite in a Post

When you are looking at coming to live in Spain one of the worries might be if you can get your favourite things, how anyone can have Marmite as a favourite thing is beyond me by the way. So home comforts in Spain can be found now but the further you go inland the more difficult it is. Check out the video. 

Monday, October 25, 2010

when will I ever learn. Me and officialdom in spain

Siesta winner! What a dude

what did prepotente mean? possibly nsfw!!

Getting a Residency in Spain, The Process

A quick look at the process of getting a residency in Spain and how it should be approached. Residency applications are not straightforward but it is worth doing if only for the possibility of practicing your Spanish in front of innumerable officials by explaining why you haven't got one of the papers you require. 

Image of Luxury Property for sale on the Monasterios estate in Puzol, a gated community with a thriving social club just 15 minutes from Valencia. See more properties at

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Saturday, October 23, 2010

how the other half live. luxury in puzol

Xmas has arrived in Mercadona. Turron!!!

YouTube - 100 Tips For Moving To Spain Number 95 Ask And You Shall Get

Ask and you may get a full answer in Spain. Make sure to ask about any doubts you have about property or living in Spain. When you are talking to lawyers, civil servants, estate agents or anyone really you should make sure you ask ask ask. It's a cultural thing really that information is not volunteered in general you have to leach it out of people. Try it and you may be surprised.

Paramount Theme Park in Murcia A Step Closer | Houses for Sale in Spain

The proposed Paramount Theme Park in Murcia now has its location. It is going to be beside the Condado de Alhama development by Polaris World in Murcia. It is expected to create up to 22000 jobs in the local economy over the life of the construction and opening and it will provide an all year round golf and entertainment complex as the Polaris World development is set around three Jack Nicklaus designed golf courses. 

For more information on 100% finance properties on the resort for immediate purchase at under 100k Euros get in touch on 

It's the weekend, It's siesta time.

So are you going to have a siesta today?


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Why was today filled with annoyance? Just listen to the link to the audioboo!

Friday, October 22, 2010

teaching you a spanish word today. prize for the best explanation

La Ley De Costas (The Spanish Coastal Law) With added Antonio Banderas

The Spanish Coastal law is an ass. A really badly thought out piece of legislation that had the aim of protecting the coast but all it did was to allow a coach and horses to be driven through great swathes of the coast leaving concrete monstrosities in its place. However you need to be aware of the Ley de Costas when buying property close to the beach in Spain just in case you fall foul of it just like Antonio Banderas and melanie Griffith did with their property in Marbella.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

quick audio about a great investment in betera

Great Investment Property For Sale In Spain | Houses for Sale in Spain

Great investment property for sale in Spain. An opportunity has come up for a total win-win situation. You get to buy a house at well below market value to stop the bank repossessing it and the owners get a chance to buy it back off you in two years so you earn around 20% net. A six bedroom house set on four floors in Betera with study, kitchen, two living rooms, office, terraces, three bathrooms and set in a really nice position for just 150K with a possibility of keeping it after two years but even if you don't giving you a 20% return.

YouTube - 100 Tips For Moving To Spain Number 93 What Language Will Your Kids Be Taught In

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So make sure you know what language your children will be taught in before deciding on a local school

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Can you help these people out and make yourself money? Investors wanted.

This huge 270m2 house for sale in the town of Betera is an opportunity for someone to buy as an investment because there are two ways to buy this but you have to be quick.

The normal way is at the normal price of 270000 Euros (ONO) You get a six bedroom house on four floors, with garage, bodega, large kitchen, two living rooms and a large terrace with views towards the mountains. It is in the centre of town with all facilities to hand.

However here is the kicker.

The family are just about to have this repossessed by the bank for the trifling sum of 137000 Euros, when compared with value. Someone at the bank has their eye on it of course at that price so we are looking to help someone  avoid repossesion, have a sitting tenant paying rent and at the same time make you money. 

The owners are willing to sell at 150000 Euros with an option to purchase within two years at 10% per annum return on your money. ie your total investment not just the 150k. This would be made up of 4% return on investment through renting the property back to them and 6% per annum interest earnt on the money lent apart from that. If they do not take up the option, or cannot take it up, then you get them out of the property and you keep the house for 150k. (It was valued in February this year by the bank at 365000 Euros. If they buy it back off you you would earn a minimum of 20% on top of original investment.

Any takers?

If so, deposit of 20000 Euros would be needed by two weeks time at the latest but preferably sooner.

For more details mail me or as this is urgent phone me
+34 961662892

250000 Euros La Pobla. Great House for the Money. 5 bedrooms, Pool etc...

Sometimes you need to be quick and when you see a good house with all amenities to hand at  decent price then you should be ready to jump in.
This house may well come into that category. 
5 Bedrooms
2 Bathrooms
Living Room
Office Area
Outside Dining Area 
Covered Terrace
Open Terrace From Bedroom
Car Port
Broadband Internet

800m2 Plot
Just two kilometres from La Pobla and 17km from Valencia.

250000 Euros

Ebay Auctions of Spanish Stuff

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