Festivals in Valencia: Las Fallas and Carnaval

On Saturday many of Las Falleras, the women in traditional costume for Valencia’s biggest festival, Las Fallas were walking around the city. Apparently the Falleras sometimes spend in the 1000’s on their elaborate costumes. If you’re in Valencia in March, you can’t miss the deafening fireworks and crowds of people. The fireworks go off at 2pm each day so the focus is on sound as opposed to the lights and colours which of course can’t be seen as clearly in the day.

Las Falleras
stalking Las Falleras

A friend and I made our way to the barrio (district) of Russafa. Similar to the barrios of Brunswick or Preston in Melbourne, Russafa is experiencing a process of gentrification. The ethnic neighbourhood has a number of Chinese stores and Middle Eastern restaurants, but now more trendy restaurants and bars are popping up. We visited Ubik café to get my bookstore + café-in-one fix (hi Melbourne!) which offers Spanish and Italian dishes, coffee, books (but not to be taken to your table) and a play area for the niños. The sun had put me in a happy mood so I went with the happy Italian drink of a Bellini (fizzy sweetness) for only 3 euro.

colourful apartments in the district of Russafa
pretty apartments in the district of Russafa

In the Russafa district we also stumbled upon Carnaval, round 2: South American style. Most of the people/floats were Inca/Bolivian/Peruvian themed. I was so happy to have memories of Bolivia surround me: Paceña (Bolivian beer), salteñas and giant corn. I had an empanada to fill that time in the day that comes between a lunch eaten too early and a dinner eaten on Spanish time.

Not Hemingway’s Spain has a great post on the various barrios of Valencia if you’re interested in finding out more.

Bolivian band
Bolivian band
Bolivian carnaval
Bolivian carnaval
Carnaval in Valencia
Carnaval: South American style
books in Ubrik Café
stuff to read in Ubik Café
Ubrik Café and its books
trendy Ubik Café

My Bellini cocktail at Ubrik café
My Bellini cocktail at Ubik café