Tuesday, September 22

viva la tomatina

"It’s name – La Tomatina. How it began – no-one really knows, yet its origins lie somewhere between a ‘practical joke’ of throwing tomatoes to silence a singing townsman, to a riot that broke out over a disagreement between some youths and members of a parade in 1945. The battle was broken up by police, but the following year on the same date, the men came prepared with their own tomatoes. The date then became known as the day of the Tomatina and has been celebrated ever since. It’s held on the last Wednesday of August every year, at eleven o’clock in the morning." (-valencia trader)

we just happened to be in valencia the last wednesday of august and had had had to go to la tomatina. so we set our alarm, and got to the train station early in the morning to make the voyage to bunol- along with everyone else ages 18-30 in valencia.
around 8 we arrived at bunol, a sleepy little town who was wide awake (and pretty drunk) and ready to toss some vegetables. walking down the road to the heart of the town, shops were open selling sandwiches, goggles, t-shirts, sangria and cold beer. in fact, there was sangria running down the streets.
i love this picture of the lady on her second floor balcony, just looking at all the crazy kids beneath her. i wonder what she was thinking?
lady on balcony

the street the tomato fight takes place on is a small street. it was just a little crowded. there were people as far as you could see in both directions.
not even crowded
somehow, we got stopped at the craziest part of the crowd. for an hour before the tomatoes even made their way down the street there were beers and ripped up t-shirts flying all over the place. people stood on the top of their apartment buildings and let their kids spray us with hoses. a t-shirt fight broke out and lasted an hour. it was crazy- i got hit in the face and it hurt, but was super funny. groups of 5 guys would run up to someone, surround them, take their shirt by the collar and rip it off then add it to the hundreds of others that were flying around- if you look for it you can see a few guys getting attacked in the video.
finally, the tomatoes made their way through the crowd. everyone squeezed together on the sides of the road to make way for the 5 huge trucks full of tomatoes (some rotten, some green, and some probably would have tasted pretty good). as the trucks rolled thru people in the back of them threw them out, we in return threw them at others. you get the point, it was a huge tomato fight...
here comes the fun

tomatoes from truck

fight!

goggles rule
you were smart if you wore goggles- the acid from the tomatoes burned your eyes. luke took his off and got hit in the eye, i had the pleasure of removing tomato pulp from his eye on the train ride back, his eye was red for two days after.
more fight!
i am not sure if this is even worth watching, it's pretty pixilated.

after the last truck made it's way threw the masses, the masses decided to leave all down the small street. we turned into a huge mass of person, pulsing forward and backward and side to side. just getting off the street took a good twenty minutes of being stuck person on top of person, hotter than hot, inching along. if i were claustrophobic i would have died. but we made it out and got hosed off by spanish men with mullets hanging off their balconies. oh how i loved being hosed off by spanish men with mullets hanging from their balconies.

we were nasty. nas-ty.
too close to two tomatoes
funny, i could have sworn my shirt was white.
could have sworn my shirt was white
the trip back to valencia was not fun. it was hot. it was smellyier than smelly- think baking rotten tomatoes covering your body, then add a hundred people who smell of those baking rotting tomatoes and BO all shoved on a train car for an hour and a half.
that first breath of fresh air was the best breath of fresh air i have had in a long time, but for a once in a life crazy experience like that it was worth the smell.

41 comments:

.Ang. said...

haha Ok, that looks and sounds SOO CRAZY!!! and fun, and intense.

Keli'i and Megan said...

Holy awesome. That is absolutely crazy and so fun!

Rach said...

How incredibly nasty but AWESOME TIME. I would totally have done it. So cool...glad that your shirt didn't get ripped off.

Smiths said...

I saw something about this on the travel channel. It sounds like you did it all.

liko said...

i always see this festival on t.v. and think it looks crazynuts!!! i can only imagine the tomato/BO smell in the crowded, hot train car!!

but talk about memories!! you two look like you made the most of your trip! so awesome!! i want to go to italy someday...

Stephanie J. Robertson said...

that's a train ride i'd like to take- haha!!! you guys are awesome!

Melissa said...

oh my gosh! hahahaha whahaha! how cool and weird all at the same time! i love this awesome post!

stef j. said...

i think we should have a tomato right here, or a banana fight, or some sort of fresh, rotten, and not yet ripe produce fight!!

Jessica Brown said...

Random- just the other day my friend was telling be about the tomato fights in Spain and how badly she wanted to go to Spain just for that purpose. And look you went. That looks crazy!

missy said...

what did you do with your camera? these pics are amazing! i love the one looking over the crowd of people - looks so national geographic-ish

dana said...

Oh my gosh! that is the craziest thing ever! I'm so glad you got to join in. When in rome....or Valencia :).
Thanks for your sweet comment on MADE. Have a great weekend!
- dana

Erika said...

Fun...well, except the train ride home. That sounded a little nauseating. Seriously though, how many times in your life would you be able to be a part of a HUGE tomato fight? So cool!

Denae said...

Awe Some!!!!

Jen said...

That is so awesome! What a "once in a lifetime" experience.

It must've been nice to have the experience Luke had living there. It's always good to travel with some one who knows the ropes.

Looks like a blast.

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