I hope you are well and have had a good week!
For the past few days I have been in sunny Spain doing research for my International Research Project, which is like the dissertation part of the BA(Hons) Events Management course.
So we arrived at uni at 2:45am (looking rather tired!), jumped on the coach and headed to Gatwick Airport where we caught a flight to Alicante. Once we landed, it was back on the coach for a drive to Valencia!
One of the main things we went to see out there was a traditional festival where the people of Valencia build these amazing status to represent all that was bad from the previous year. These are then set alight and burned so they can start the new year afresh.
Across the whole of Valencia, there are approximately 756 statues located in different streets and squares. One statue is saved and placed in a museum, whilst the others are set alight letting out a great cloud of smoke, immense heat, fireworks and a rather toxic smell! The burning began at midnight and went on until around 3 o’clock the next morning. I couldn’t believe how close to people’s houses and buildings they were as they went up in flames! Don’t panic, there was a fire truck that went round to each statue to protect surrounding areas.
Here are some of the statues:
Here is what they look like as they are set alight:
Another part of the festival was the parade, which took place every day and consisted of each community dressed in traditional Valencian dress carrying flowers to the Virgin statue in the town centre. A band also followed each community which made such a good atmosphere!
Whilst we were there, we also got to go to the Oceanogràfic centre which was an amazing aquarium! We saw so many fish, penguins, whales and even a dolphin show!
Whilst in Spain I also tried some amazing Spanish food and drinks, including seafood paella and traditional Valencian paella at a gorgeous restaurant that had snails and rabbit in it!
I think one of my favourite parts of the festival was the fireworks! They were the biggest displays I have ever seen and they happened every night in the town centre. However, something I did find very odd was that people of all ages (even children) were randomly setting these and little firecrackers off all day, so it felt like walking through a war zone at times as each bang made us jump in the air!
Overall, I had an amazing time!
I hope you enjoyed this blog post and it gave you a little insight as to what sort of things we get up to on a uni trip.