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Hemingway Adventure

Valencia, Spain (third day)

Valencia, Spain 
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Every day at two o'clock a crowd engulfs Valencia's main square to be blasted by the mighty explosive event they call Mascletá.
Michael Palin - Hemingway AdventureThis morning the pipe and its attendant explosions passes, with scrupulous punctuality, at ten minutes past eight. This time I don't take it lying down. I stagger to the window and peer through the curtain.

I suppose I had expected to see young children following the band like a Pied Piper, ebulliently scattering fireworks. In fact, the procession consists almost entirely of elderly men, one of whom pushes a supermarket trolley brimful of firecrackers which his two lugubrious companions light with their cigars and toss across the street.

This is the last day of Fallas, the culmination of a week's festivities. Tonight, at midnight, the statues all over the city will be torched, though the largest one in the main square will not go up until an hour later. Vicente's bullfight begins at five, so we ask the ever-enterprising Robert how we can best kill the time. He suggests more noise.

At two o'clock every afternoon during the festival there is an event known as the mascletá in which the three big pyrotechnic families of Valencia vie with each other to produce the most powerful explosive display, and as today is the last day of the last festival of the century, and the millennium, Robert reckons it will be one of the best.

He calls some friends who have an apartment over the square and they invite us to watch the performance from their balcony.
Valencia, Spain 
click to enlarge 
file size
Every day at two o'clock a crowd engulfs Valencia's main square to be blasted by the mighty explosive event they call Mascletá.
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PALIN'S GUIDES

  • Series: Hemingway Adventure
  • Chapter: Valencia, Spain (third day)
  • Country/sea: Spain
  • Place: Valencia
  • Book page no: 122

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