Mar 242014

Gandia Las Fallas 2014Guests for “Fallas Fortnight”!

Quite a few months ago we received a booking from Sandy and David who wanted to stay in our self-catering apartment for nearly a fortnight, to coincide with the local fiesta of Gandia Las Fallas 2014. Las Fallas is the famous Valencian fiesta which sees enormous satirical effigies constructed in each town (or in each area of larger towns). These are then judged on their merits and finally burned to the ground on the night of March 19th – St Joseph’s Day, the patron saint of carpenters. In the run-up to March 19th there are daily parades with marching bands and local ladies and young girls bedecked in the most elaborate of traditional dress.

Sandy and David are very keen on the whole tradition of the Fallas fiestas and have been coming to the Valencian region to view the spectacle for a number of years. However, this was the first time they had decided to spend their time in Spain with us and we were delighted to welcome them and show them to the self-catering apartment that would be their home for the next two weeks. They were of course very familiar with the area already and so very soon felt at ease in their surroundings and knew exactly where to go on each day to view the different parades and celebrations in many different towns in the Valencia region.

Although they were staying in our self-catering apartment, this was a choice they made in order to have a space they could truly think of as their own, rather than from any great desire to cook their own meals have a self-catering holiday in the true sense of the word. They were therefore delighted to learn that they were very welcome to take advantage of our evening meal service – and they even joined our other Bed & Breakfast guests for breakfast on the terrace too!

Every day they went to a different town or village and really did their preparation when it came to knowing what parade was going to take place, where and when! In the past they had stayed near Xativa and on one day of each trip would take the train to Valencia city to see the magnificent effigies that are built there. This trip, however, they were so impressed with the offerings on display in Gandia that they decided to forgo their Valencia visit (and all the crowds of people there too!) and spend their time in the smaller towns nearby, with their main focus being Gandia. The “Mascleta” (or fireworks display) was a must for them of course, and this takes place each day at 2.00pm in front of Gandia’s railway station. In line with most fireworks in Spain, it is much more about the noise than a visible display in the sky – and a huge noise it is indeed! Sandy and David only went to the “Mascleta” a couple of times, but loved the whole general atmosphere in Gandia. They involved themselves in watching parades and bands, and especially enjoyed the day of the main parade in Gandia, which culminates in the presentation of flowers to the statue of Mary at the main church.

After very nearly a fortnight’s stay with us, it was finally the night of March 19th and all the beautiful constructions literally went up in smoke, and Sandy and David had only a couple more days left with us. They had genuinely enjoyed their visit to our self-catering apartment very much indeed – and made a great fuss of our pets too! We were very sorry to see them leave, but absolutely delighted that one of the last things they did before checking out was to make a reservation for the same time again next year! We thoroughly enjoyed meeting them and very much look forward to welcoming them back to Villa Florencia again in 2015!