Thursday, March 24, 2011


I could give you a play by play of everything we did during Fallas but it would be a novel post & words really cant describe this experience. nevertheless, i shall try (but def check my new f-book album with the pics!!)

alrighty so here we go

Last week we only had class on Monday & got the rest of the week off for "Fallas festivities." On Tuesday morning it was gloomy outside when we woke up so we crawled back into bed until lunchtime. After lunch the skies cleared up & we went for a run in the parque. went to our favorite hang-out spot w/ the rest of the crew [BEER--really though, that's what the bar is called] and topped off the night w/ our first real churro's from the churro stands i talked about earlier. phenomenal.

Wednesday we couldnt get our lazy butts out of bed before lunch again but after lunch we ventured out into the world because the weather was beautiful! sarah and i decided to head to the center of the city to see what kind of action was going on there. we ran into a really cool mercade de las fallas that had loots of vendors selling literally everything under the sun from candied peanuts to handmade fairies...lots of fresh cakes/nuts/breads/etc & doo-dad's (sp?). of course churros were at every other stand. we walked all around the city to see all of the Fallas. let me explain what this is. they're these creepy looking sculpture-ish things that they build all around the city in the plazas. who builds them you ask? our prof explained it as somewhat like a country club. people pay money to become part of a certain "falla" & then if you're a girl you're known as a fallera and a boy is a fallero. these fallera/o people get to dress up in big dresses & traditional clothing and march allllll around the city of valencia. every day. with lots of music. at all hours of the day. anyways, so each falla hires an artist to design their falla and they're all critiques of something of society (either political, social, etc).
here is some fallera people casually waking down the street in the afternoon

and this is a falla (i have no idea how to explain this one)
there's 385 of ^ those guys (but different of course). there's a competition to see whose is best and the winner gets lots of cash money. more on these guys later

every afternoon they have a thing called "mazcletá" which is a essentially a noise-fest in the center of the city. i dont even really know exactly what it is that makes the noise but let me tell you, it sounds like explosives (probably is...) and the finale?? you basically go deaf if you're anywhere near the plaza. the Spaniards go nuts over these mazcletás.
okay so another part of fallas is a thing they call "castillo". this is a fireworks show but one of the best fireworks shows i've ever seen!! better than fourth of july, boat parade, etc. AND every night they get better! this is also a competition because each night they have a different choreographer. the whole entire city meets on the rio (which is the parque that i've talked about before) and watch the show for 20 mins and theeen go all over the entire city to party on the streets, go to concerts in the middle of streets, and eat churros on the middle of the streets. they also have pretty lights all over the streets that look like this ^ .

here is a little video so you can get an idea of what the streets looked like
since thursday was st patty's day, we decided to get in touch w/ our irish roots and go to an irish pub to hang out to celebrate. sadly no green beer there (i settled for sangria instead). one thing lead to another and before we know it, we made friends with half the bar (they were all actually members of the same family that go to this pub every year for st patty's day).
we went out that night making our way through different street parties and actually also discovered an FSU program thats here in Valencia also! 

on friday jean's padres went out of town so we seized the opportunity to go grocery shopping and make gigantic salads. we also mozied around the río for a little bit because it was a gorgeousss day!
on friday night starts another Fallas tradition called the Ofrenda. Remember all those fallera/o people i told you about walking around the whole city during the days? well, eventually those people all end up in the Plaza de la Virgen where they have put up a gigaaaantic Virgin Mary (but just the structure of her). All these people carry bunches of roses to her and when they get there, some dudes put them up on her dress. the finished product is a Virgin Mary with a cape that's made entirely out of flowers!!

our madre says lots of people always get emotional during this part

saturday is the last day of Fallas and the most important day because this is when they BURN them! earlier in the night they have a parade of fire (called the Nit de Foc) where they have all these dudes dressed up in crazy looking costumes and outfits (like devils and demon-type things) and they run through the streets w/ sparklers and firesticks and other weird fire-spitting contraptions. then at 1AM they start the fires. all 385 of them! except they do them a couple at a time because they have to wait for the bomberos (firefighters) to get there first. we were wandering around the streets hoping to catch one and then ultimately decided to plop down at one that was still intact and wait for it. we waited for two hours. BUT then when the bomberos finally came, we were front row! look at this neat video i got of them lighting it up!

pretty neat huh? after 5 nights of going out, i was pretty exhausted so after this thing burned down, i called it a night.

What better way to end our Spanish week with a bullfight?? On sunday afternoon we watched a "corrida de los toros". a lot bloodier than a remember (a long time ago i went to one in madrid w/ my mama and sisters). it was also a lot sadder than i remember. maybe it's cuz i dont eat meat anymore. let me tell ya, after watching this, i think this vegetarian thing is for good. here's a little snippet of the bull w/ the matador! we watched three different  matadors, but this one definitely loved himself the most! check out his body language hahah also, i didnt get any pics or a video but the last matador was only 24 yrs old and he was gushing blood from his shin after the bull knocked him over. he could barely walk but he insisted on finishing the fight against this 3000 lb bull. everyone in the crowd kept saying "que valiente!" haha sounds kinda like a fool to me yikes

well i'm off to bed because it's 3AM and me carly and anna are going to mallorca tomorrow! yippeee cross your fingers for sun! my pastey face is scaring me
¡hasta luego!

1 comment:

  1. That pic of the burning thing is amazing Ver! I'd rather never be around another burning structure ever again though haha