City on Fire – Valencia’s Cremà
Last night, more than 750 monuments were burned during La Cremà — the fiery, official end to the Fallas celebrations.
We went to see the monument of Convento Jerusalén be burned to the ground. It was amazing. Thousands of people crowded into the streets and on every balcony, to watch a huge fireball raze this beautiful sculpture into nothingness.
Within minutes the flame had consumed everything recognizable, leaving only a tall, burning framework, which soon collapsed. The air was covered with thick, black smoke and the firefighters were constantly at work containing the blaze. It was all over so quickly.
On the walk home, we noticed that the mood of the city had changed. The last 19 days had been like great sex, and Valencia was exhausted after its fiery climax. Now that it was over, everything seemed unreal — the day-long parades, the mascletàs, the constant firecrackers, the ninots. Had I really, just two days ago, drank vodka from a two-liter and yelled “Guapa” at falleras? Yes, I had. But, as with sex, behavior that’s shameful afterwards was awesome during the heat of the moment.
Probably better not to dwell on the details of what just happened, and instead relax & enjoy the post-coital glow. Thanks, Valencia, for a wild time… pass me a cigarette.
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