Saturday, 23 March 2013

A day trip to Sagunto

To make the most of a lovely day, we jumped on a train and headed up the coast to Sagunto.  

It's a cute little town, with a castle at the top of the hill to explore and a Roman theatre as well.  The older part of town was quite pretty, but steep.  We're not used to hills, living in Valencia!  Good job I've been working out recently.

The name of this ceramics shop made my day.  We actually made some purchases, which you'll see in a minute.

Finally we hit the top of the hill and explored the castle.  It's far bigger than the castle in Xativa, but more of a ruin. 




After a spot of tapas and a bocadillo (sandwich) for lunch, we headed back up the hill to find the theatre.  Despite dating back to Roman occupation, it's been restored and looks like a library or something from the front.  A bit disappointing really.

A few details remain, but generally, it's a bit disapppinting. 

It was lovely to be out wandering around somewhere new in the sunshine.  And as I said, we bought souvenirs which definitely makes it a proper day trip.  I was very taken by the ceramics and decided to get a new salad bowl.  Since I'm eating lots of stuff, I should probably have a nice bowl to serve it out of. 

And I also picked up a hand painted fan for those warm summer months which are quickly approaching.  

We're home now and chilling out before we head out for dinner at 10pm. Have a great Saturday night!

La Crema

Tuesday night was the final night of Fallas, and a good job it was too.  We were shattered!  Nonetheless we dragged ourselves out to see the smaller infantil fallas burnt at 10pm.  I wore my bluson and panuelo that I had bought for our school Fallas celebration on Thursday with quite a few layers underneath to keep warm!

We reached the end of our road and the first infantil was about to be lit.  Cue fireworks that made me jump a mile!

Another 100m along the road and the next one had just been lit.  

I couldn't believe how close people were standing to them. 

Although they're all supposed to be lit at 10pm, we saw 2 more on our way into town.  

It's really quite creepy seeing all these child like statues burn like this.

The next one we came to (somewhere in Canovas I think) was lit just as we were there and the firecrackers were so loud they nearly gave me a heart attack.  I suppose we were only about 6 feet away from them though.

We decided that we would head for the city centre, to Plaza de Ayuntamiento for the burning of the falla there.  It was one of the biggest, and there were fireworks too, though we had to wait until 1am for it to start.

After waiting almost 2 hours, it was finally time.  And it couldn't have been a more exciting end to the week.  Rich and I took videos but I'm having problems uploading them and so I'll have to try and do it another time. It's safe to say that the volume and intensity of everything to do with Fallas was just insane but this took the biscuit.  Incredible!

After such a adrenaline fuelled evening, walking home through quiet streets, with smouldering piles of rubble was eery.  In some places there was no sign of the falla or rubble at all because the street cleaning team had already been and washed the road.  It really felt like we'd had a surreal dream, not helped by the fact that there is no sign of Fallas on the streets today!

Tuesday, 19 March 2013

Fallas - A Mascleta

These photos are actually from last weekend, but I've just remembered I took them, and I haven't posted about a Mascleta yet so here we go.

These are held in Plaza Ayuntamiento every day at 2pm from the 1st of March until the 19th, the final day of Fallas.

They are incredibly loud and I advise you to go and look one up on You Tube, to experience the volume. By the end of it, the explosions come so thick and fast that the windows in the square shake and if you are close enough, as we were last Saturday, the rumble you get through your whole body is just amazing.

My little video is just the beginning of it, so you don't get the intense sound at the end, but it may give you an idea.

We went to 3 Mascletas during Fallas and they are great; definitely one of my highlights.

Nit de Foc - Night of Fire

Having been to the firework displays on Saturday and Sunday night, we popped out of the flat last night expecting a fairly similar experience.  This was not the case.  As soon as we left our flat, there were cars everywhere and people streaming down to the Palau de les Arts, at the end of our street.  This is not what it normally looks like at 1.15am on a Tuesday morning.

And I now see why so many people turn out for it.  The Nit de Foc is the big one, to start off the main celebrations on the 19th, that culminate in tonight's crema, which is the burning of all the fallas. 

I know that my pictures don't do any justice to these amazing displays, but here we go anyway. 

The fireworks have been one of my favourite parts of Fallas so I am a little sad that I won't be watching elaborate displays every night now, but I will be glad to get some sleep!