Alright, on Monday this week we got to go to this really cool festival called Las Fallas (pronounced Fayas) in Valencia. Las Fallas lasts for the whole weekend and consists of giant fallas (papier-mache statues) made by artists for this festival. Many of the fallas have some sort of religious or political significance. Most of the streets in the city of Valencia were blocked off and the fallas were set up in the plazas and street-corners for everyone to look at. It is also a national holiday so there was no class and many people had the day off from work. There are several firework displays that go off during the day and they are extremely loud. There were also firecrackers being sold all over the place and kids were constantly setting them off in the streets. There were also food trucks all over the place selling fried foods, especially buñuelos which are a certain type of churro specifically made for the fallas festival. There were also street performers all over the place singing, making music, dancing, and posing for pictures. Starting at 10pm they lit the fallas on fire and we got to watch them all burn down! The last ones were finishing around 2am. We then got on our bus and went back to Alicante and had class bright and early the next morning!
These past couple weeks in Alicante, I’ve been pretty busy. A group with the university went to watch a professional basketball game right here in Alicante. The team we were rooting for used to be one of the best around but due to financial issues they were brought down to the lowest league. I got to see Black Panther and La Forma del Agua (The Shape of Water) at the movie theater; both movies were in Spanish. It’s still challenging to fully understand people speaking in rapid Spanish, but I feel like I am getting better at it little by little.
Last weekend I visited Granada with my program. Granada is the type of city you would imagine when you think of Spain; there are lots of old-fashioned buildings with tiled roofs and plazas with large beautiful fountains. We also got to watch some authentic flamenco dances. And we visited La Alhambra which is a palace/fortress built by Muslims hundreds of years ago and boasts some very beautiful architecture.
One last thing that happened this week was that on International Women’s day there were some huge protests all around Spain for women to get the same salaries as men. I saw huge crowds of thousands of people in the streets participating in the protests and I even got out of class that day because both of my professors wanted to go to participate in the protests.
That’s all for this update, but make sure to check out the “videos” I have posted on here to see more of the places I’ve visited!
P.S. Their post office drop-off boxes here are yellow and cylindrical. :-)