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.
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.
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.