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Date: 09 Oct 2009 20:00:00
Title: Valencia festivities

We are enjoying life here in Valencia, not least the hot sunny weather well into October- only interrupted by a couple of very big storms at the end of September when we were very glad we weren’t still cruising.  When not lazing on the boat (actually the skipper is polishing the brightwork as I write so it’s not all books and beer), we have been getting to know the city.

Yesterday was a big one for the locals, the day back in 1238 when they were finally liberated from over four hundred years of rule by the Moors.  On the eve of the day itself they hold a firework competition between 2 different displays.  The result was an hour of incredible pyrotechnics and phenomenal noise as the bigger the bang the better the show in the eyes (ears) of Valencians.  We feared for our eardrums and I now know what it must have been like under bombardment in WW1.  We were also allowed up close to the action so were showered in ash from the fallout and agreed we would never knowingly be that close to fireworks again.  The following day we went back into the city centre to watch a procession of marching bands and groups dressed as Christians or Moors.  It turned out to be a spectacular display of colour and costume designer skills lasting well over 3 hours as line after line of participants swayed by in incredibly ornate outfits and the occasional troupe of dancing girls added to the attraction.  Wow, what a show.


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