Happy Falles!

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March 11th 2005
Published: March 11th 2005
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As soon as the fireworks are over everyone makes a mad dash to get out of the center of the city away from all the smoke, on a clear day you would be able see a nice fountain and a government building behind us but here we´re about to be engulfed!
We made friends in Valencia! It was the first place that we couldn´t find a cheap hotel so we had to go for a hostel. We checked into Indigo youth hostel and while chatting with the girl at the front desk we came to find out that she and her husband had opened it just 6 days before! They have traveled all over and decided they wanted to open a place for backpackers that was clean and friendly and they succeeded! It was the most comfortable atmosphere of any hostel we´ve stayed in yet. We also made a friend in our room who was there visiting someone who goes to school in the city. So we got guided tours from a semi-local. We went to a small bar that we never would have found on our own and got to try what is apparently the best Agua De Valencia (kind of like a screwdriver but made with Valencia oranges and Fanta.... shhhh it´s the secret ingredient) We also happened to be in the city for part of the Falles festival. The festival, which has been going on in Valencia for hundreds of years runs all through March. From what we could figure out it´s sort of a beauty pagent among very elite girls. All year long each family that is going to enter one of their daughters puts money into a float to be built for her by a local artist. At the beginning of the festival the girls ride in a parade on their floats. Then the floats sit in the center of the city for the rest of the month while the gils make appearances throughout the city and are judged. At the end of the month they chose the Falles Major and the Falles Infantile (the two age groups) and all the floats of the girls that didn´t win are burned. Leading up to this they celebrate with fireworks in the center everyday at 2 pm. This was the part we got to see. The entire city is formally invited at the beginning of the month and they ALL turn out everyday. The best part was setting off fireworks of our own in front of our hostel. We got stopped by the police who thought it would be funny if they told us it was illegal just to scare us and when we really did get scared our friend from the hostel had to explain to them, in Spanish of course, that we were Americans and it really IS illegal to have fireworks where we are from!


11th March 2005

Sounds like you guys are having a lot of fun! I hope to hear from you two soon. Love you both! Laura - Laura
12th March 2005

Burning the loser's floats seems a bit harsh! I don't think this festival will catch on here. Hope you continuue to meet great people and have wonderful adventures. Nice picture too - we like pictures. - mom
12th March 2005

Hi girls!!
You look like you are having a good time!! and Brian ....maybe they can't just download ALL pictures...might have to be edited!! or at least come with more of a commentary than available here. Liz you are getting more like your mother, picking up people where ever you go. But I mean that in a good way!! Keep up the posts, I know love getting them!! Love lots, - Buddy
13th March 2005

So, this is the picture taken when you guys were named the Falles Majors right?! Yea! You guys look great and I'm so glad you're having such a blast! (haha) Love ya, Ani - annika

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