Watching Life Go By
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The Valencian Community is an autonomous region in the west of Spain.
Events and Festivals
La Tomatina, is a festival that starts the week before the last Wednesday of August in the town of Buñol which is 38 km outside of Valencia. The week before people party and there is a famous paella cooking contest the night before the fight. On the last Wednesday of August the massive tomato fight begins with 20,000 to 50,000 tourist coming to participate in this epic battle in a town of only 9,000 people. The fight starts at around 10 o'clock in the morning, with the greasing of a long pole on which a ham is tight. After one person is able to release the ham, the mayhem can begin. Trucks with tomatoes will be hauled into the main square. Water canons firing water is the signal for the start of the fight. After the starting signal everybody's on their own for the next hour. It is mandatory to squeeze the tomato before throwing, as it otherwise would be to hard. After an hour, the water canons are fired again and the fight is over. Water trucks will clean the streets, but not the people! They have to be lucky to get hosed down by residents, or find a bathing spot at the river.
Falles is a city tradition that celebrates Saint Joseph's Day on the 19th of March, and the days leading up to that date. Each year every neighbourhood in the city of Valencia has a group of people that create a falla, which is then burnt. Only the best of one will survive. The entire city (and the rest of the comunidad) comes out for the festival in their Fallas dresses and it can get very crazy. Every day at 2 p.m. the Mascleta takes place of the Plaza del Ayuntamiento. This involves a lot of firecrackers and people from every neighbourhood trying to impress each other. As a visitor it is best to watch this from a safe distance.
- Valencia Airport (VLC) is the 8th busiest airport in Spain. The airport has flights to about 15 European countries with about 6 million passengers a year. Air Nostrum has flights to a number of Spanish cities, including Madrid, Bilbao, Seville and Málaga, and others include Casablanca, Dubrovnik, Madeira and Lisbon. Ryanair flies to/from Bari, Bologna, Brussels, Cagliari, Dublin, East Midlands, Frankfurt, London, Madrid, Milan, Pisa, Rome and Weeze (near Düsseldorf). Other airlines have flights to places like Amsterdam, Paris, Geneva, New York, Prague, Zürich, Bucharest and Stuttgart. Valencia airport is situated adjacent to the Autovía A-3 highway which connects Valencia with Madrid and is also close to the Autovía A-7 coastal route to Barcelona. It is also well served by public transport. The airport is connected to the city by a regular bus, which takes 45 minutes, a shuttle service, which takes 20 minutes, and the metro (lines 3 and 5), which takes 15 minutes. The metro also goes to the railway station and port of Valencia. Taxis and car rental agencies are both readily available at the airport and there are thousands of long-term and short-term parking places.
- Alicante Airport is even bigger than the airport in Valencia, making this a good alternative if you are going to visit the region. Many lowcost airlines fly to/from Alicante with Ryanair having flights to/from Aarhus, Basel, Billund, Birmingham, Bologna, Bournemouth, Bratislava, Bremen, Bristol, Brussels South-Charleroi, Derry, Sheffield, Dublin, Durham Tees Valley, East Midlands, Edinburgh, Fez, Gdańsk, Glasgow-Prestwick, Gothenburg, Frankfurt-Hahn, Haugesund, Karlsruhe, Knock, Leeds, Lille, Liverpool, London-Gatwick, London-Stansted, Lübeck, Maastricht/Aachen, Marrakech, Memmingen, Milan-Orio al Serio, Oslo, Palma de Mallorca, Paris-Beauvais, Pisa, Santander, Santiago de Compostela, Shannon, Stockholm-Skavsta, Airport Weeze (near Düsseldorf), Wroclaw, Zaragoza. Easjet has quite a few flights as well, and there are many more budget airlines and some regular airlines that have flights, mainly to countries in the west and north of Europe and some domestic flights. Subus and Alsa provide excess to the airport by bus. The first one to/from Alicante and Elche, the latter one to/from Benidorm and Murcia.
RENFE is Spain's national railway company and there are highspeed trains travelling to and from Madrid and Barcelona, among other cities.
Eurolines has buses to other destinations in Spain, Morocco and many European countries/cities.