Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Valencia: Falles Day 2

After waking up after my long night enjoying the Valencian nightlife with the hostels falles "tour" which was actually a pub crawl. I had missed the walking tour which I had hoped to take.  Heading back to Plaza de Reina, I was happy that the sun was out and the skies were blue compared to how grey it was yesterday.

With no plans except to meet up with Hannah and Kiera, two lovely English girls I had met from my hostel on the pub crawl the night before. That was going to be at one pm after they met up with one of their friends that was arriving that day.

I headed over to to Valencia's Mercado Central to check out what the market had to offer. I wandered around debating what to get. There was so much to look at and such amazing food on display. I settled on a carton of strawberries and a container of cut up cheese.

Meeting up with the girls and their friend Tom, we all headed towards the main plaza to watch the mascletá, which are audio fireworks. I had missed them when I had arrived in Valencia yesterday so I was very excited to hear them today.

Before this photo I did not have a set of sunglasses. There were plenty of vendors selling different things from beer to scarves. One came by to harass us but everyone had sunglasses but me. The guy initially wanted five euros for the sunglasses he was selling but when he saw us eating the cheese I had picked up from the market earlier he reached in and grabbed a couple of pieces. In shock we argued with him and Tom got the price down to €2 euros as we felt him eating the cheese was worth the additional euros. Now styling my new hot pink sunnies, we set about enjoying the mascletá.

As the mascletá started, the middle of the square by the main falle filled with smoke. The fireworks that made the noise were loud and as the main square is surrounded by very tall buildings the sound of the fireworks bounces off the buildings. It is an amazing thing to experience. Very noisy but a lot of fun.

With the sun shining, we had no exact plans except to wander around the city and enjoy the festival. The other three had been to falles before so they were seasoned veterans in my mind. I stared and snapped away as the beautifully dressed falleras and falleros passed us practicing for the parades that would happen in the days ahead. I could not get over the cute little children dressed in their outfits. The others were very patient with me as I took it all in.

Out next stop after the mascletá was to pick up drinks. Starting with a strawberry mojito, we strolled through the streets. I am not sure what the policy is when it is not falles but we strolled around drinking alcohol with no problem. There are drink stalls on every corner serving up mojitos and other drinks.

One mojito was not enough and we moved onto bigger and better mojitos. We were tempted by the large bucket on the right in the photo above but settled on the ones just to the left of it. We happily watched as the drink makers free poured the booze and carried off our large drinks. I got one of the super large straws and had to be careful to keep it out of anyones eyes. I sipped mainly from the second, much smaller straw in my drink.

I loved these little girls munching on a snack as they paraded about.

Soon enough the sun was starting to set in the sky and we were still wandering around. I was still taking as many photos of the falles as I could. Loving the details and amazed that there were still so many falles that I had not yet seen. They were everywhere and each so different and beautiful.

I adored this sea themed falle. I loved the details of it with all the different mermaids representing the different seas around the world. 

The sailor leaning in to kiss the mermaid! I think the boat's name is something like 'speak of the sea' but might be something similar.

Moving onto, I also really enjoyed this animal themed falle. I loved how it was decorated with the different brush strokes.

We kept walking and came across this very large falle in the photos below. After spending time in Rome, I really enjoyed it's Roman-esque Gladiator theme.

We headed back to the hostel where we gathered a few people in order to drag them out to watch the fireworks with us. Still with a bit of time before the fireworks we headed to a juice bar where we got some really amazing juice cocktails.

I also ended up getting a really tasty caramel crepe as I was feeling quite hungry. 

We headed back towards where we had enjoyed the fireworks the night before but it turned out the fireworks were at 1 am not at 12 am. With an hour to kill what better to do then go get drinks and snacks which of course meant getting the biggest cotton candy I have ever seen.

The fireworks were amazing as always. Lots of explosions and different ones. I took a few photos but am trying to get more in the habit of taking time to enjoy whats in front of me.

Wandering back to the hostel, no pub crawl for me tonight. We took in a few more details on the Japanese themed falle by the hostel. 

So far I had been having a great time in Valencia and the festival was proving to be amazing and very memorable.

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