From Cuenca we have traveled to Valencia, which took about close to 3 hours (with a bathroom break) and we entered the beautiful city that is in the midst of their “Fallas” celebration! It is huge for their city as many people come near and far to experience it – and we actually did not plan to be there specifically for that so it turned out we could see something amazing!
People work all year on these huge sculptures to present, which are called Fallas. They are huge and a way for the people to express themselves and make fun of people or situations about politics and politicians Each tells their own story and at the end of it, one sculpture is declared the winner. The rest get lit on fire and burned and that’s the finale to the special celebrations! There are lots of fireworks, at various times of the day, and it is just huge parties in the streets! Also, they have a tribute to Mary where they place flowers on this (picture below) and eventually completely filled with flowers. I saw it before but can only imagine how amazing afterwards. People dress up in costumes and sing and dance in the streets. Their hair and head pieces looked similar to Princess Leia and we found out that is the symbol of Fallas. St. Patrick’s day in Spain doesn’t provoke too much celebrating but we definitely saw lots of green and guinness being served!
My favorite part of Valencia is the “Agua de Valencia” – and it is cava (champagne) and orange juice. I know some are like, “well duh, a mimosa” but this is way more! The orange juice in Spain, I know I have mentioned, is out of this world and in Valencia they grow their own oranges and so that’s what is used. Next time you buy oranges, look at the label because I bet you have had one at one point! So combine two of my favorite things, Spanish orange juice and champagne and life is good! I will go back there just for that actually or try my hardest to replicate it in some way because I want everyone to be able to experience those flavors!
In the evening, we took our tours out in the “country” to rice farms where we had a paella party! All varieties of paella and it was absolutely delicious and a unique and rustic experience. The one part of being here that is so important to me, is trying the local cuisine and that was just that!
Final stop of this tour is Barcelona and will be there for a couple of days. I have heard amazing things and I cannot wait to take it all in!