Valencia Travel Blog

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Let me tell ya, when you go to sleep at 6am, 11am comes freakin’ quick!  Damn those checkout times!  However, I woke on the day of the Crema at about that time...and grudgingly made my way to the shower.  I decided to walk around the city and see what I could see.  It was a beautiful sunny day and I decided to take a long walk.  I parked near the Aquarium and walked the length of the park that they made in a dried up riverbed along the north of the city.  I later realized that was about five miles!  I had a list of Fallas to see that I hadn’t seen the day before and I ended up walking all over the city and ultimately around the circumference of the city core.  Looking at a map later, I believe I put about twelve miles on Walks Too Fast’s shoes.


During the afternoon, I found a place to eat and was disrupted by a herd of African kids running through the streets at top speed.  They had huge knapsacks over their shoulders and I quickly realized they must have looted a store.  They were gone in an instant, but less than thirty seconds later, they came flying back through, knocking over some tables (thankfully not mine) and encountering police.  Downtown Valencia is like a maze of streets and as I saw the policemen talking to each other over their walkie talkies, I realized they were cutting off the kids escape.  Slowly but surely, the police divided them and took them down…several within a block or two of where I was finishing eating.

 Let me tell you, the Valencian police don’t play around. They took these kids down hard (when I say kids I mean probably 18-21ish, so not really kids) and smacked ‘em around a bit after cuffing them.


At this point I figured it would be a good time to check into my new hotel and let my feet rest a bit.  I did that and since I had told Elena I would call her and see about getting together for the Crema, I did.  Today was Elena’s father’s birthday and they were having a party for him, so I was kind of expecting not to see her again today.  However, I was pleasantly surprised when I checked with her in the afternoon and found that she wanted to show me the Crema.  I met her at the train station as it was approaching dusk and we found one of the small fallas that are burned first.

  By the time it was ready to burn there was a huge crowd surrounding the thing.  The “bombers” (aka • Valencian firemen) arrived and the falla was lit.  Basically they soak the thing with some gas or something and light a fuse with firecrackers on it to get it going.  This first little falla had a bit of a rough time getting started, so they threw a bit of extra gas on it and whacked it a few times to get better air flow.  Ultimately it burned however and the Crema had officially begun.


Elena recommended that we go see the #1 falla burn, basically the falla that won the most awards and was considered the victor of the falla competitions.  We took the subway to the appropriate place and found a huge throng of people gathering.

  Literally many thousands…similar to the fireworks display of the previous night.  The winning falla was one of the huge 22 meter variety (yeah six stories tall!)  Elena and I worked our way through the crowd and found a vantage at a curb which gave us just a little bit of height.  However, it was nearly 1am by the time the falla was about ready to burn and I was finally getting really tired.  My feet were feeling the 12 miles plus of the day and my eyes were feeling the 6am bedtime!  I wanted to put my head on Elena’s shoulder and take a quick nap!  Haha!


Finally they lit the fire however and it was impressive and woke me right back up.  In my pictures it’s hard to see, but the huge black smoke cloud swirled up easily 500 feet and was filled with bright cinders flying into the sky.

  The bomber who was manning a big fire hose to control the blaze was shooting his stream of water but clearly missing the falla and the fire.  It took me a minute to figure out what he was doing, but I realized he was causing an air draw by the water passing the smoke to focus it into a funnel going up and keeping it from spreading out.  Interesting!  Guess those bombers know how to do their thing.  After the falla burned down to the skeleton, people began to drift away and a bunch of people began singing.  It was a very interesting experience.


I was seriously hoping for a coffee before I had to drive to my hotel.  Elena thought that sounded good, but as we looked around it was clear that after a week of festival, the shop keepers weren’t sticking around for 2am coffee drinking.

  Elena and I made our way to the subway and she rode with me to my stop.  We said our goodbyes and she got back on the subway while I walked to my car.  After a few blocks it sunk into my tired brain that it had been a wonderful time meeting Elena and her sister Rosana the day before and that just like that it was over.  Hindsight is 20/20, if I’d have known I’d meet such wonderful people, I would have planned my trip differently and stayed in Valencia longer!

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photo by: spocklogic