Almost Too Much

We're three days from the culmination of the Fallas festival here in Valencia and the mood around the Baker household is... exhaustion? This isn't a complaint, for we came here for the cultural experience and we're certainly getting one. Last night, the partying and the drums went on until 5am. Silence reigned until about nine-thirty, at which point several more marching bands came down the narrow street outside our window, drumming and making joyful music. It's so so loud here. We went out for a cup of coffee, trying to hype up our weary minds, and on the way back we walked past more children lighting and tossing fireworks into the walkways. One of them (the firework, not a child) bounced off my leg like a hard pebble. Ow!

Last night, P couldn't sleep at all. I managed to sleep through much of the revelry because the night prior, I'd been up all night, and I was too wiped out last night to keep my eyes open. So we've been alternating, with one of us too pooped to think and the other one doing okay.

Teamwork! At least one of us is awake enough to function. :)

My only struggle is that when I can't sleep, I can't write. The brain won't make words in a state of duress. So I haven't been all that productive this week. Still, there's been a lot to enjoy and absorb. Yesterday afternoon I grabbed my camera and we walked around town to admire the artworks set up in intersections all around the city. They're so beautiful and so enormous. Too big for my phone to capture! The Falleros and Falleras are parading through the streets in their traditional clothing, looking beautiful, and even the native tourists have dressed up with handkerchiefs and hats in the traditional blue-and-white plaid pattern.

In the Plaza de Vergin, municipal workers have set up an enormous wooden structure of a woman, the patron saint of the city, and starting this afternoon, the Falleras (queens of Fallas) will parade down the street from every neighborhood, bearing flowers, and they'll bring those flowers to the wooden saint, where her wooden dress will be filled in with living blossoms. Later, after a nap, maybe, we'll make our way through the throngs of people to see that for ourselves.

I've often noted that I love the people of Valencia because of their zest for life. Any evening after work can feel like a festival here, so when there is actually is festival, it's almost too much. Like Mardi Gras for nineteen days in a row. Like a Superbowl parade that goes on for weeks. Like all the nights you can't sleep because people are cheering and chanting and drumming outside your window until five in the morning.

It's amazing. It's exhausting. I'm glad I came.

#travel #spain