Postcard from Valladolid, Spain: Thrust into the thick of things

Above, Plaza Mayor during the final week of San Pedro Regalado

Below is the spectacular view of Valladolid’s Main Plaza from our rental when we first arrived in the city. We were in the heart of the city, yet our apartment was surprisingly quiet… for several days.

Then we heard a stage under construction, and the always delightful Gigantes y Cabezudos began emerging off and on.

Evening brought an operatic-type production to “our” stage – “La Zarzuela por el Mundo Desde…. Zarza Night Pucela.”

Zarzuelas date from the 15th century, but disappeared as a traditional music form until rejuvenated almost three centuries later. Spanish composers succeeded in making operatic into shorter soap-ratic (my word), stories to appeal to the masses (people like me).

The sounds were beautiful floating through our apartment.

Friday and Saturday nights brought an array of fine international folk artists.

Getting louder in our apartment. No need really to keep our windows open. But, hey, we had primo seats, and the music truly was top notch.

The thrill of having great balcony seats for the celebration beginning to wear off, it was a great relief to hear them packing up the stage in the wee hours of Sunday morning.

But then, a monster truck hauled in a much larger version. A major stage for the grand finale of the two-week celebration of the city’s patron saint – Paris de Noia Show’s “A Xira de Camino.” A Las Vegas-style revue (description from this blogger who has never been there). A continuous medley of one hit, evidently, after another with absolutely no breaks. And the crowd loved it.

Which makes me feel guilty for saying this, but we absolutely did not.

The amplification in our apartment would have been more than we could stand even if it was our favorite band. Even worse was the laser light show beamed around the plaza, bouncing off the buildings… and throughout our apartment. There was no hiding from it, even though I burrowed my head into the sofa cushion and covered my ears with pillows.

And it went on and on and on for hours. Not a pleasant end to the holiday, but we unknowingly had reserved the “best” seat in the house.

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