Sunday, April 8, 2012

Let the Adventures Begin... Las Fallas :)

     So let's rewind back to Fall 2010... Sitting in my Spanish 381 class listening to the professor elaborate more on the text that everyone (should have) read the night before about the different fiestas there are in Spain. Looking at pictures of bulls running, of people covered in tomatoes, or people traditionally dressed.
Then he started to talk about Las Fallas de Valencia. This is a festival has been going on since 1872. In Valencia they spend all year making this float type spectacles that are often satires of current situations or people. During the weekend of Las Fallas these floats are displayed throughout the city and at the end of the festival they are burned (all that work gone!!)

That lesson was one of the first reasons that I thought Spain would be a cool place to be. Las Fallas was definitely something that I wanted to see. So as March 19th rolled around, I tried asking various groups of friends who were interested in going, but at the end of the day any prospects for plans pretty much fell through. At first I was pretty bummed about it, but then a stroke of good (finally) luck hit. On the facebook group for auxiliares a tour group that was taking a day trip to Valencia for the last day and coming back just in time to head straight to work for only 40 euro (most buses I saw to get there were 60) said they still had seats on the trip. So I thought about it for a while and came to the conclusion that- 

1. Las Fallas was the reason I became more interested in Spain.
2. I didn't get to go anywhere during Christmas break and if I just stayed home I would be wasting the 3 day weekend opportunity.
3. Next year Las Fallas is going to be on a Tuesday therefore making it more difficult to go, if I am even in Spain next year. 
4. I came to Spain to get to know more people, so getting on this tour bus full of strangers would be a good start.

And with that I messaged the girl in charge and I was ready to be on my way to Valencia. The original plan was to meet at a certain bar at 11:30 to head out by noon, and head back around 2:30 to be back by 7:30...just in time to catch my bus to work...jajaj). At the bar I realized that there were 2 people a part of the group that I had met before. A guy I met at an intercambio like the first few weeks I was here still living with las brujas, and another guy I met when I went with my friends to a movie screening who also graduated from CSUN. He ended up being my bus buddy for the rest of the he trip, and we got to walk around and see the different floats displayed in the charismatic city of Valencia.  

After exploring by ourselves for a bit we met up later with the group for drinks and started watching the masterpieces burn. For those of you who know me, know I can be pretty jumpy and a big scaredy cat, well with that in mind I have no idea what I was doing in Las Fallas. Even the smallest firework that you could give to a 6 year old made the loudest sound like it could be a bomb. So with all of the massive explosive sounds I felt like I was going to lose a leg or something, giving a few special people in the group something to laugh at lol. 

We stayed and watched the fantastic show of fireworks and the burning, and it was a beautiful night...until it decided to rain right after the main show. Oh another minor detail, our bus driver decided to be a jerk and make up his own rules saying that he needed 11 hours rest between the turn around for the 4 hour drive (in which he also needed a 45 minute break in between). Therefore we couldn't get the bus at 2:30 as planned we were getting picked up at 4:30... and he was late. So we went to a bar and hung out for those 3 hours, and went to wait in the rain for the late bus driver. I called my teacher to tell her the situation, and made in time for my second class of the day (despite looking like Mufasa with wet shoes). 

And that is the story of my first trip since Halloween, health wise I made it walking and standing all those hours, so it was a big victory in a lot of ways.... A trip back to Valencia is in order for sure.

Thanks for reading. I'll leave you all with the video of the wonderful fireworks and big burning at the end. 

Much Love!!


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