On Monday, I arrived in Valencia for Las Fallas festival. I didn’t really get up to much apart from having a quick look around the city and had some lunch/dinner. Once again, I had a bit of a death trap of a top bunk. Tuesday, I went on a tour around the city based on the festival, and it seems like it is based on the concept of burning the problems from the past year and starting on a clean slate. The tour also went into detail about the costs of the Styrofoam sculptures, some around the €200,000 mark, the outfits worn and the events over the week. After, I went into the main square to watch the daytime fireworks, then spent the rest of the day walking around the city, finding a lot of the fallas.
Wednesday was nice and sunny so I went to the beach to get some lunch. I came back to the city center and had a look around, before coming back to the hostel, heading back out again once it got dark as the fallas look better then. At midnight there was a firework display so I stayed up for that, it’s the kind of thing where you might as well watch it as you can hear them from the bed in the hostel anyway.
The next day, I left the hostel pretty late and went to the main square for the fireworks – it’s fair to say that I have taken advantage of the fact that it’s alright to be drinking in the streets during the day. It also seems to be acceptable to let young kids set fireworks off in the middle of the streets too. After, I went to the Plaza de Virgin to watch the start of the ceremony to decorate the statue with flowers which took around 8 hours. I didn’t watch the whole thing but nipped out a couple of times to see how it was looking. There was another night time firework display, this time at 1am so I stayed out to watch it. Whilst walking the streets I saw someone who couldn’t have been much older than 8 lighting a firework with her dad’s cigarette as though it was the most normal thing ever. Parenting at its finest.
The city got really busy on Friday, walking down the street was like the days where you are running late for work in London and everyone else seems to be walking as slowly as possible, then standing on the left on the tube escalators. I stayed in for most of the day with the exception of seeing the fireworks – 2pm and 1.30 am.
On Saturday I woke up late but managed to make it to the main square to watch the daytime fireworks, before going for a walk throughout the city. It was just too crowded so I went back to the hostel, to re-emerge for the burning of the fallas. It was impressive, but the reoccurring theme of people annoying me with their cameras struck again.
At the moment I’m sat in a hostel in Barcelona and shall be flying out of Spain tomorrow. Overall, I’m glad I went to this festival but I’m certainly not in a rush to repeat it.