This is the part where I fell asleep last night. So sorry if you were left hanging at the end of the last post :) Hilda was falling asleep, and I decided that I wanted to do the same, so I posted what I had, shut the computer, and slept the blessed sleep of the truly exhausted. So now back to where I left off…….
Ah yes, the aftermath! We decided to let ourselves be carried along by the crowd (sometimes just about literally) toward the river, watching as the townspeople started cleaning up everything. Seriously, those guys have got it down to a science – by the time we got back from the river (probably 20 minutes tops), at least half the mess was taken care of. Everyone had hoses and brooms out, even the little kids. The fire trucks made use of their hoses to clear the larger streets, and many of the tarps that had been covering the building fronts were already coming down. We were pretty clean ourselves too after submerging ourselves in the river, (it was actually more of a stream, but all the signs said “river”) although there were bits embedded in our hair that didn’t come out until we combed it out in the shower that night.
We dried off a bit in the rather warm sun as we bought a snack and trekked our way back through town to the train station. We kind of got lost for a few minutes and didn’t realize until then just how many tomatoes were used in this fight – nearly every street we went through was filled with the carnage! Luckily, there was a very sweet old man who told us where to go after we asked him two times (he didn’t quite hear the first time), and we made it just in time to join the massive crowd gathering around the station. In a déjà-vu sort of moment, we found ourselves immobilized by the bodies around us, and when the gate finally opened, we moved forward really through the will of those behind us rather than our own. We made it onto the first train out though, which was a wonderful thing, even if we had to stand all the way back into Valencia. It was a fun experience overall, despite being somewhat uncomfortable at some…ok, quite a few, moments. In fact, I would probably like to go back again sometime, although I would go with a few more friends (for a greater amount of friendly fighting possibilities) and seek out one of the less crowded side streets where we would have more freedom to move and run around.
After getting back into Valencia, Hilda and I figured out how to use the metro to get as close as we could to our hotel and hopped on. Unfortunately, we misread the directions the first time and went all the way to the end of the line before realizing that we were supposed to get off about ten stops back. Then we fell asleep. When I woke up, I saw the sign on the station we were just pulling out of, misread that, and thought in my sleep-induced stupor, that we had missed it again (keep in mind that we had only slept about 10 hours in two days between the both of us). After a few minutes of trying, I was able to wake Hilda up and mistakenly informed her that we had missed our stop, again. We hopped off at the next stop, waited about 20 minutes for the next one, and then when we were on it, I saw the map (we didn’t have one) of the line and realized we hadn’t actually missed our stop and were heading in the wrong direction. So we got off at the next stop again and waited for the next metro back the way we were supposed to be going. We got off at the correct stop and then realized that the directions to the hotel we had gotten off the internet weren’t very accurate. Luckily, a very friendly guy manning the information booth saw us staring rather confusedly at the map of the area posted near the station and gave us precise and clear directions. So we found our hotel at last, remarked the niceness of the place, took our showers with high gratitude, bought some groceries at a nearby supermarket for dinner, then went to bed. It was lovely.
It was also lovely sleeping in this morning. Quite lovely. Then we checked out of there, took the metro back to downtown Valencia, and found our hostel after only one or two misreading of the directions. Since that point, we have explored some of the area within walking distance, relaxed in the shade with a glass of lemon sherbet (or something of the sort), and made use of the delightfully convenient kitchen in the hostel. It has in fact been rather a lovely day, despite the heat and humidity (not quite as dry as Davis, although probably better than the South). Right now we look forward to going to the beach, visiting the aquarium, eating paella (a sea food and rice dish that originated in the area), and wandering around a few elderly and beautiful works of architectural art. I think it’s going to be a good week :)