Champagne, Pancakes, Explosives and the Holy Grail. What to do in Valencia While You’re Waiting for Las Fallas to Begin.

If I’m being honest I wasn’t that excited to come back to Valencia.

Being in San Sebastian and seeing all the green and the hills and cliffsides along the coast made me so happy. It was kind of the first time I saw nature that reminded me of Washington since I left and it made me a little homesick! But now that we’re back here I’m realizing how ridiculous it was for me to dread returning to nice weather, beaches and pre-fallas celebrations. We easily figured out what to do in Valencia while waiting for Las Fallas to start up.

So a beach day was our first move. Rob and I packed up some sandwiches and a bottle of Cava and headed east of the city center to Playa Malvarrosa. What can I say about drinking bubbly in the sun on the beach that you don’t already know? It was awesome and super relaxing and I’ll probably do it again in a couple days. The end.

The sooner you realize bubbly is not just for NYE, the happier your life will be (Playa Malvarrosa, Valencia, Spain)

We got bikes from the Valenbisi (It’s kind of like car 2 go but with bikes, and there’s bike stations all over the city. So awesome, if you’re ever in Valencia you really should consider using this service) and rode home, had some dinner on the patio and some beers. All in all a fantastic and relaxing day 🙂

This morning I woke up and made some of Rob’s favorite, protein packed and jacked blueberry pancakes (I might do a separate post with the recipe for these, they’re damn good, surprisingly healthy and easy to make). I mean we really just sat on the patio and fed each other pancake bites and gave each other eskimo kisses and completed each others’ sentences all morning (or I did my makeup while he sat on his laptop watching stupid facebook videos, you weren’t there so you have to take my word for it). It’s good that we had that barf-tastic John Mayer music video of a time together this morning, because things got real heavy metal real quick after that. The city has sounded like a bit of a war zone since we got back, and we kept hearing what sounded like explosives off towards the area where the town center was. We had heard about these events called mascletas, and apparently they happened everyday at 2:00? Ok, cool, let’s go check this out. We’ve been twice now and neither one of us is able to put our finger on the appeal of the mascletas, but we both know we think they’re awesome and there’s a ton of other people that agree because the plaza is totally packed everyday at 2:00.

The sun helps keep the pancakes warm
Don’t forget to look up! (Catedral de Valencia, Plaza de la Reina, Valencia, Spain)
Let me get a sip tho (The Holy Chalice aka Holy Grail, Catedral de Valencia, Valencia, Spain)
My new spot, this Horchata shop is over 100 years old and it shows.  Their horchata is perfect! (Valencia, Spain)
Can we reclaim duck face and start calling it horchata face? I like that a lot better (Horchateria de Santa Catalina, Valencia, Spain)

 

One of the fallas, I’m really excited to see this one when it’s totally finished. She’s right down the street from us so I can check in on her progress every day 🙂 (Ruzafa, Valencia, Spain)

Basically you go join tons of people at the town center around 1:30 in the afternoon, they shoot off a couple warning firecrackers at 1:50 and 1:55, and at 2:00 there’s five minutes straight of loud ass firecrackers and smoke shooting out from the main plaza. People are cheering and drinking (no need for road beers, all the entrepreneurial beer salesmen and women from the beach move their 1 euro/beer businesses to the Plaza during this time)  and packing themselves in to see this. It doesn’t sound all that cool but it really is. And you stand in this massive crowd and the firecrackers get louder and louder and more and more frequent and you know that the guy next to you’s insides are getting scrambled by all the noise and explosions just like yours are and it only makes you both cheer louder. (If you want to see a video to get an idea of what the mascletas are like I posted one on my instagram page)

When we got home I threw on my ‘Budafcknpest’ sports bra that makes me look like a boxer, some Jack White, and grabbed a beer from the fridge, if that gives you any idea of the badass mood that watching explosives going off and drinking beer with a bunch of strangers puts me in. And this was all after a wind down of horchata and checking out the Cathedral with the holy grail in it in between. Neither of those seemingly peaceful activities could kill my excitement.

Or maybe that’s just me being jacked up about Las Fallas in general. I’m really enjoying the slow and steady progression that Valencia has leading up to Las Fallas celebration. Walking around in the streets and seeing the gorgeous but only half assembled fallas sculptures, the elaborate light displays set up but not turned on, the crazy firecrackers in the town center everyday that are probably going to seem like kazoos next week, all of this only makes me look forward to seeing the finished products more and more. Everyday I wake up and feel more excited than the last for what’s to come, the Spaniards definitely know how to hype an event!

Needless to say my apprehension to come back to Valencia was stupid and short lived. I can’t wait for whatever it is I am writing to you about next, all I know is there will be fire, partying, one of my best friends in the whole world, and chocolate covered churros. Plan accordingly.

2 Replies to “Champagne, Pancakes, Explosives and the Holy Grail. What to do in Valencia While You’re Waiting for Las Fallas to Begin.”

  1. There is such thing as a (an?) horchateria?! This is my vice, I know it, I’m just on the wrong continent. Or the wrong part of my continent. Are horchaterias a think in Mexico?

    1. Yeah, I’d only ever heard of it in Mexico but it’s huge over here! Cafes dedicated to Horchata all over the place, it’s kind of the best thing ever 🙂

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