Monday, March 18, 2013
There are 300 bands in the city of Valencia and some 10,000 musicians and at some time or other yesterday I am certain they all paraded by our building. Their repertoire is very interesting and in additional to what I am sure are traditional songs, the most interesting song had to be a rendition of Hava Nagilah which the band sung after they played it. After singing they proceeded to dance around a bit, too. I also got to hear The Mexican Hat Dance, as well as a couple of tunes by The Four Seasons.
We snuck out of the house a little before 2:00 and headed in the opposite direction of the mascletá. Yesterday more than 10,000 passengers traveled on the AVE from Madrid setting a one-day record. If you are in a car in Valencia these days you are certifiably crazy. Many of the streets are closed off, others have reduced lanes and parking is damn near impossible. Our destination was La Comisaría and afterwards we intended to head to Na Jordana to see their falla. We would see a number of others on the way down and on the way back.
When we entered the restaurant there were only a few diners, but we knew that the place would begin to fill up after the mascletá ended. Over a beer we studied the menu and decided to opt for the menu of the day and added an octopus and potato salad to our meal. We started with the octopus salad, followed by empanaditas, croquetas and langostinos. Generally, when you order the menu of the day, the appetizers on a plate are equal to the number of diners at the table. While technically we should have enjoyed two of each appetizer, Eddie gave us four of each. When it came time for the main dish – arroz al horno – we asked Eddie to give us a very small portion. We were so full that we passed on dessert, coffee and a chupito. When we left the terrace was filled and there were only a few seats remaining inside.
It took us about ten minutes to get to Na Jordana and the falla there is absolutely spectacular. It is a reproduction of The Trojan Horse and it is made entirely out of wood. There are other figures that are part of the falla, but the horse is the dominant figure. It weighs a total of 35,000 pounds and it too will go up in flames on Tuesday night, along with all the other fallas. Na Jordana won the prize for the best ninot infantil and, as it turns out, it was the one that Susan and I voted for when we saw the exhibition of ninots back in February.
It started to drizzle as we made our way back home. From our fifth floor window we were able to observe the constant parade of falleras and bands and later in the day we were able to see groups lining up for the Ofrenda a la Virgen. The members of the various casals process through the streets carrying an offering of flowers for the Virgin of Consolation. There is a large wooden superstructure and the flowers are placed in that wooden superstructure. The parade lasts for the better part of two days and each group has an assigned time.
We gave some thought to watching the fireworks display ay 1:00 AM, but given the fact that it was drizzling, we thought better of it. We busied ourselves for the rest of the evening, I with my magic and Susan with her photos and we fell asleep soon after the sounds from the fireworks ended.