Valencia, Spain and Canary Islands
Well, our overnight train trip was… narrow, smelly and loud. One of our lovely cabin mates was snoring up a storm, and gassed us in between chainsaw noises. We also had far too much baggage for the space we were allotted and I slept cuddling my backpack. Comfy! Still, we got some sleep and found our way to the hostel with plenty of time to spare. Las Fallas was amazing! We met with our tour (a great bunch of people) and walked around the city looking at the towering statues of crazy caricatures called a fallas. Each fallas had a theme and was apparently a political or social satire. Each city district had one, and had fundraised all year to complete it. Our tour leader Caitlin (soon renamed C-Bomb by none other than my lovely girlfriend) had told us that the most expensive one so far cost €90,000. The most crazy thing was that on the last day of the festival they burn ALL OF THEM at midnight. No wonder Spain is in so much debt… They also had fireworks at 2pm every day, which shook the ground and blocked out the sun with smoke. St Paddy’s Day (smack bang in the middle of the four days) was quite celebration of pub crawls and drinking games. And bright and early the next day the Spanish started up a parade of marching bands to soothe our sore heads. We enjoyed a day on the beach, where the wind was far too cold, so we huddled onto the warm sand and enjoyed the sight of a lone leather-skinned man strutting around in his g-string speedos and occasionally slapping his ass… And despite the cold, Ena still managed to burn the back of her legs to a bright red consistency. I learned that the best way to make a cheap wine palatable is to add lemonade. The sweetness takes away the acidity of the wine, and makes a nice sangria-like drink. On the last day of the festival, we all voted to watch a Trojan horse fallas burn, which was a little slow, but pretty amazing once it did get going. The firefighters were on hand to protect the buildings very close by by spraying them with water, but an ember managed to fly onto a nearby roof. The crowd pointed out the small fire and it was quickly extinguished.