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!
Just as we are starting to feel at home in London it's time to pack our bags and set off on the next great adventure! "Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover." -Mark Twain
These are the true stories of Liz and Andrea's Excellent Adventure...... full info