A Day at Las Fallas de Valencia

Girls in historical Valencian costumes

Valencia was good. We didn’t have much time because there was not a centrally located hotel available, but I really, really wanted to go to Las Fallas this time. Aside from the fact that we didn’t have a lot of time, the bus ride (there were no trains available to and from Valencia either) was a bit too long and tiring, so that also took time from our already limited time. In short, we barely had time to walk around. Time, time, time, time…

At least we got to see the fireworks and the cremà (the burning) of many of the ninots (Valencian for puppets or dolls). And by the way, I think it’s such a shame that after they work for a whole year or more on these magnificent sculptures they have to burn it. Only one is saved and I didn’t get to see which one. Anyway, in Valencia I was a little shocked that the little kids—and I mean LITTLE kids—were allowed to play with fireworks. That’s quite dangerous, but the parents were around.

There was a block party almost everywhere we went; they played music, threw firecrackers on the street, and a few people stood around the ninots (probably the artists), some taking pictures or just looking at it. The streets were decorated with carnival-like adornments and the name of the block.

The fireworks at midnight at the Plaza del Ayuntamiento were a good sight. There were a lot of people, but not as many as I expected. It was the last day of the Falles though. That’s the night when they burn all the beautiful figures at midnight, saving only one.

For what I was able to see, Valencia is a big city, just like Barcelona, where so many foreign meet and you can hardly tell who is native and who isn’t. The signs are written in Valencian (maybe also Catalan), but everybody speaks Spanish. The metro system seemed different to me, and a bit confusing may I add. I’ve been south and north of Spain, but Valencia was different, almost like being in Italy. I can’t speak much about it since our time there was so limited AND I couldn’t eat Paella Valenciana! I guess I will have to go back now.

 

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