travel postcards, practical advice, images and snippets of randomness

So; last night was the night of San Juan, when the good folk of Valencia (about 150,000 of them) go down to the beach to have bonfire and watch a demented drag queen mime to the disco version of Nessun Dorma… well, it beats Coronation St I suppose.
Chuck in a few naked gogo dancers (tassels aren’t clothes are they?) and it’s a show for all the family. Now I’m no prude (as you know) but I won’t mention the free gifts being hurled in to the crowd…
I’ve got a few photos, but to be honest they look more like Darfur than a party on the beach, you judge…

Noche San Juan Valencia 23rd June 2010

Noche San Juan Valencia 23rd June 2010

Noche San Juan Valencia 23rd June 2010

Noche San Juan Valencia 23rd June 2010

I don’t know what the basis for this fiesta is, or what San Juan is famous for, but it seems to be an east coast thing, mainly Barcelona, Valencia and Alicante.
The numbers are huge, and its seems to be getting more raunchy. I was here about 10 years ago and matters have stepped up quite a bit; the stages are much like you would see at big, paid for festivals and there is a lot more drunkenness – this used to be a rarity in Spain. Many of the beach restaurants have chosen to close, and have been boarded up for the night. Despite all this, the atmosphere is good and there never seems to be any trouble beyond a bit of shouting.

Most of the drinks at these dos are self supplied; a 2lt bottle of coke or other pop, half tipped out and then refilled with vodka or rum; very popular with the under 18s. This heavy drinking goes on all over Spain, and they quite often have ‘flash’ parties in the street (called botellones), mobile phones and the Internet have made this possible and they are of course illegal… last Monday in Alicante a botellon took over the middle of town before moving to the beach – 5000 people. These have been going on for years (the authorities in Madrid regularly bring the water canons out), but the numbers are getting bigger; probably a consequence of expensive bar prices and a 40% youth unemployment rate.

The beach will look like a bomb site this morning; but it will all be clean by tomorrow, it has to be; there is the Formula 1 race in a couple of days and they don’t want that broadcast to the world!

The inevitable consequences… This is a lift from a local paper; they cleared 70 tons or rubbish in 3 hours…

Noche San Juan Valencia 23rd June 2010

Noche San Juan Valencia 23rd June 2010

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