Posted by: Team McSlade | March 26, 2010

Las Fallas – Valencia – The Main Event

Las Fallas en Valencia has come and gone and in the interim time I have had to complete a Critical Reflection piece for Understanding World Politics, ahhh, when will Universities call a spade a spade and say it was 500 words on getting kids to open there eyes to the world around?

Thus here goes with a dot-pointed rendition on Las Fallas:

We took a packed train to Valencia.
1.1.    Similar to going to the Adelaide show, only no-one’s allowed to get on from Salisbury and any other station closer to the city for fear of having serious injuries occur to the travellers.
1.2.    Angry patrons standing on the platform.

Get to hotel after ‘punching’ way through the crowd
2.1.    Room has been cancelled

2.2.    I repeat – cancelled. (But the next two nights are good as gold. Winner, we’ll sleep on the street, I’m sure the fireworks, bonfires and hundreds of thousands of people won’t ruin our slumber on three empty pizza boxes and a milk crate.)
2.2.1.  Seems the fine print can be useful if it’s the busiest night of the calendar and people are bursting for a room, just give away the Aussies room.

2.3.    Ivan freaks out, gets manager for problem solving abilities.

2.4.    Ryan goes into internal meltdown mode
2.4.1. Jo does not.

2.5.    Several phone calls to other hotels, no avail; meltdown turns to extreme scathing, scowling and rage.

2.6.    45 minutes pass, no luck on the telephonic front. Then Ivan says manager has ‘fixed’ it.

2.7.    Pig’s ****, someone else cancelled, but…
2.7.1.  we’ll take the room.

Check out ‘floats’ (hey, we come from The Pageant State, what else do you call them? Structures?).
3.1.    Realise the pageant floats are rubbish (in comparison),
3.1.1. and then realise these guys do it every year, get paid well and are well funded.

3.2.    Go to Masclatade and hear hundreds of thunderous crackers go off. Daytime fireworks, brilliant.

3.3.    See more floats (pictures at Las Fallas – Valencia).

3.4.    See Virgin Mary 15 metres high, dress made of carnations – see photos

3.4.1. ‘Fight’ through crowds on every street.
3.4.1.1.              Jo has eyes gouged by umbrellas and we buy Fallas bandanas – see photos

Retire to hotel (not pizza boxes) and work out Team McSlade Action Plan for evening.
4.1.    Place Action Plan into action and see more floats

4.2.    It gets dark, as the world revolves and the sun goes down.

4.3.    Lights turn on. More money spent
4.3.1. By us (on corn and felafel roll) and Spaniards (on everything to make the day go well – lights, tents, police, floats, crackers,…)

4.4.    Find ‘little’ float to watch burn.
4.4.1. Mickey and the duck never stood a chance. As for Bambi…(see end of point 3.4 & 3.4.1.1 for what to do)
4.4.2. They burned and with front row vantage point it was great.

On to Plaza del Pilar, where a lazy 210 000€ approx. was spent on 15 metres high of flammable material, finely crafted in a film through the ages theme.
5.1.    Think it starts burning at 11 – we arrived at 10.40.
5.1.1. Realise it won’t burn until 1am. Damn.

5.2.    Position for front row vantage point again.
5.2.1. Wait
5.2.1.1.              Wait
5.2.1.1.1.                     and wait…

5.3.    Police and bomberos(firefighters) realise crowd is too close to this pyre, start moving us back
5.3.1. and further back
5.3.1.1.              and further back. Not a wise decision in the back streets of a city with no room to move, and more people than the already small space will accommodate.

5.4.    Crowd are set, and agitated, drop sheets don’t drop. Idiots.

5.5.    Fixed. Spark it up.

5.5.1. Wait – we need fireworks…..

5.5.2. Think New Years Eve in a major city going off 5 metres from where thousands are standing, then double it. Go Spain go.

5.6.    Now watch it burn.
5.6.1. and burn, and burn, and burn.

5.6.2. What’s that? ‘Where’s the ash going?’ Why straight over the crowd, don’t worry about the embers raining down, that’s why you have a Fallas bandana – or a pizza box
5.6.2.1.              Seriously.

5.7.    20 minutes pass, still burning, noxious fumes duly inhaled, tired kids and adults alike.

Get back to hotel at 2am.

Las Fallas – I’d do it all over again tomorrow. Awesome.

Sorry, never said it would be short – and I have missed out bits too. Dot points seems like a good idea at the time I began.

Next, on to Madrid and 34 laps of the sun on Saturday for me.

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Responses

  1. Sorry for the dot points, what a nightmare.

    That won’t happen again. Damn.

  2. That’s alright – we all get a bit ‘dotty’ from time to time!

    Happy 34th lap of the sun!!!!!!!

  3. burning ring of fire… and Happy Birthday Raz

  4. That doesn’t do any justice Ryan. It was much better than that.

  5. 1.1 Happy
    1.2 Birthday
    1.3 Raz

    Go Team McSlade – you guys are extreme !!!!

  6. hapy birthday ryan!
    we (by we i mean me and some other gandía’s erasmus that you know) were watching the same “modern times” thing burning to the ground. awesome. really hot, but awesome. and we got to the place like 20 minutes before 12, so when the police pushed everybody out, we got to be standing in the first row. even better for us.

    anyway, i took some pictures of it, check them!
    flickr.com/photos/andresmonroy/

    as usual, bravo!


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