Las Fallas is a huge celebration in Valencia that takes place every year. The Fallas range from small to large, and are paper mache structures that will eventually be burned on the night of Saint Joseph, which was March 19th this year. I couldn’t stay for the burning because I had work on Tuesday but seeing the Fallas in their full form and walking around the city of Valencia was still incredible.
My friend and I took a 6-ish hour bus ride from Logrono to Valencia. It was actually really nice because we had normal breaks at normal rest stops with normal food and bathrooms…nothing like riding on greyhound.
We found our hostel (home youth hostel Valencia- very nice!) which was right in a central plaza area that was having a concert later that night. We walked around with our friends until the dinner reservation I made at 9.
If you know me, or at least this blog you can probably tell how important food is to me. I love having a nice traditional meal, especially when visiting a city for such a short amount of time. I can eat a ham sandwich any day of the week (and I usually do…), but I may only be in the city where paella was conceived once.
I also strongly believe in taking recommendations on restaurants. If someone bothers to recommend a restaurant, it has to be at least semi-good or they would be really embarrassed for recommending a place that is sketchy and gross. Right?
The recommendation I got came from one of my adult students that studied at the University of Valencia. I told him I couldn’t wait to eat paella, and he told me that I had to eat it at a non-touristy place where they make it fresh. He also said I should make a reservation, which I take as another good sign. I’m glad I called ahead because it was a full house by 10 p.m.
Where: Bodego de la Sarieta
Juristas 4 www.bodegodelasarieta.com tel: 96 392 35 38
At the end of the night to split all that food, water, wine, and dessert, my friend and I paid 20 euros each. Maybe if you are a frugal traveling vagabond that only wants to get to know the “gritty” heart of a city, this kind of experience is not for you. But it is the best for ME.
The next day started bright and early with so much to do and see. First, upon asking a man where a particular street was he gave me directions to the bus station so I could get a map. TREATED.
Then, my friend and I walked up a billion stairs, for kicks I guess, and to have this view.
Throughout the whole day there were parades of woman wearing gorgeous traditional dresses, and bands playing music, and fireworks exploding, that by the end I did not want to ever see a parade again. I started hating fun and going insane.
So, I’ll leave you with these pictures.
Then we meandered our way towards the City of Arts and Sciences- which includes an aquarium and a museum and other nice looking buildings. I didn’t go in any of them, but it was worth it to walk away from the crowds and fiesta action for a bit.
The next morning we had to say goodbye to Valencia and its sunny weather. You may wonder why I didn’t go to the beach, and I don’t have a good enough reason besides I like the idea of the beach more than I like the beach. I’m also happier that I saw more parts of the city with such limited time. A beach is a beach. Bitch (pronounced like beach in Spain).
The bus ride home is something that I laugh about now 2 weeks later.
I was on day 3 of no shower, plus fireworks, sun, and no sleep. The driver was going to have to rent the machine you get to shampoo your carpet to shampoo his bus, and he wasn’t happy about it…. because these two other actual rasta dirty hippies were also on the bus ready to strike up a conversation. They asked the bus as a whole if we were going to chat, and I responded for everyone with a clear “NO” which made them laugh for probably the whole ride.
The driver who was already less than pleased with us (for unknown reasons) had to come into a rest stop to pull my friend and I away from counting the calories in our kinder chocolate bars because he was going to leave without us. This also gave him the opportunity to call us fat and tell us we did not need chocolate while making large gestures with his hands around his butt and tummy….uf!
Alas, I have gotten so used to getting called “grande” (big) here that I’m not sure where my self esteem is. Probably on strike like a fair amount of people in Spain today. La huelga general para la reforma laboral. I’m not sure what “reform” certain people are talking about, but I still went to work and it seemed like the people I worked with did too…since….we were all there.
Do your thing Spain- as long as there’s always someone around the corner waiting to call me guapa 🙂