Our time in Valencia was so different this visit compared to last because of Las Fallas. The daily events, the crowds, the noise, the fireworks. We stopped at Mercado Central and that, in a nutshell, highlighted the difference between our two visits to Valencia -- it was all but deserted! Many businesses close altogether for the final few days of the festival.
We didn't fail to notice that it was spring!
Or the interesting logo of one of the Falla artists (maybe that was just me).
We had plenty of time before La Cremà, so took a walk around The City of Arts & Sciences. We'd visited before at night, so it was nice to see in the daytime. It's so beautiful and... other-worldly.
Contributing to the noise of Las Fallas is the fact that every kid in the city has a small box of their own fireworks to shoot off! Often carried around their necks, they're about the size of a shoebox (a boy in the photo above is carrying one on his arm), and there are entire stores and catalogs devoted to the selling of items with which to fill it. I saw young boys setting up/blowing off their own mini-mascletà type displays. I saw young fallera in traditional dress, no more than 4 or 5 years old, plopped on the ground and lighting off firecrackers. I saw old men toss extra goodies into kids' boxes as if handing out candy at Halloween. It was all quite something. And I didn't see anyone get hurt.
On the day after La Cremà, the festival officially over, most people went right back to work/school. Ann, Brian & the kids had an extra day off, but laid low and prepped for their return to work/school the following day (which would be our departure day).
Rusty took off for some time at the beach.
Kate & I took a walk to Old Town. We found some lunch, did a little shopping, and made our way to The Church of San Nicolás, aka The Valencian Sistine Chapel.
We walked over to The National Museum of Ceramics and Decorative Arts with the intention of going in, but were were already on overload and this was the EXTERIOR of that building...
I can't imagine the visual overload awaiting visitors within... we put it on the list for next time! (With a nod to my mother who always left something for next time, no matter how likely it was that she'd actually return... it was the idea of it, looking to the future, holding out hope.)
It was a beautiful day! And it was so festive with all those flags flying.
I think we saw this facade last time -- I know we were right there -- but there's also a "skinniest house" right there and last time there was a market of some sort in the square.
It's so cool, though, isn't it?
In our wanderings, we also found ourselves at the Plaza del Ayuntamiento, and you'd never have known that a 9-story tall, wood & papier mache graffiti-decorated sculpture was burned there mere hours before.
"We were standing here," and I'm taking the photo within feet of where the sculpture was located.
We had a nice dinner and final evening together in Valencia. Ann, Brian & the boys were off to school & work the next day, and Rusty, Kate & I shared a cab to the airport for the next phase of our trip.
Randomly, this is Addison's favorite snack and, I have to say, it would also be mine if I could find them here (or anything even close)! They're like flat crispy bread sticks -- smears of dough, actually -- studded with sunflower seeds. Yum.
And with that, have a great weekend!!