If you’d like to read solely the description on the actual tomato fight please feel free to skip the first 3 paragraphs.
Last Tuesday (yes, I know that was a week ago… I’m really trying to catch up on my blogging I swear!!) was the start to an end of summer vacation we had been planning and looking forward to since May!
After sleeping through the entire 4 hour bus ride (typical) from Madrid to Valencia, we checked in to Hotel Valencia and headed straight to one of the most beautiful beaches I have ever been to for lunch and some relaxation. Across Spain, the idea of “menu del dia” is very common; it usually consists of bread, an appetizer, entrée, and dessert or cafe. Moderate prices range from 6 to 15 euro. Our’s was 12, and I had the melted mozzarella seen to the left, a fish bouillabaisse, and some verrryy juicy pineapple. We left the beach at 8 and, with the thought of waking up at 6am, enjoyed a glorious spread of cheeses and breads and some wine before preparing our things for the morning and going to bed.
Wednesday was the big day, La Tomatina. If it has been a while since you’ve taken a Spanish class, or you just need a refresher, La Tomatina is the infamous tomato fight held on the fourth Wednesday of August in Spain. It began as a prank in the 1940s and has turned into a tradition that attracts tens of thousands of tourists to the eastern coast of Spain each year. We caught the Cercanias train from Valencia to Bunol (an itty bitty city with hardly anything going for it besides this one ridiculous day of the year) around 7:30am and had the chance to walk through the town before maze-ing our way through massive crowds of people to see “el jamon.” The ham is an entire Spanish ham leg stuck to the top of a pole that is completely waxed. The craziest of the crazy Tomatina-goers attempt to climb this poll (read: climb on top of eachother) to be the first to grab the ham. The “winner” gets to keep the ham to himself. This marks the beginning of the tomato fight!
Then, if you can imagine, huge trucks drive through the massive crowds of people lining the street leading up to el jamon. Four or five trucks drive through one at a time, while people throw tomatoes at you. It goes from ridiculousness to ABSOLUTE CHAOS… you’re knee deep in tomato juice sweating in the heat and then freezing from the hoses you’re getting sprayed with. You can’t see anything through the crappy goggles that you bought for 2 euro, and you feel like you’re drowning in people.
Needless to say, I’m not going back. In fact, I did not meet a single person there that had ever been there before. Nor did I meet any Spainards there… I guess they know better. It was an absolutely insane expereince, and I’m really glad I went, but it would have to take a miracle for me to go again.
Hasta pronto, amores:)