Surviving La Tomatina

Looking to unleash your wild side? Or simply want to experience something really crazy? Let me introduce you the recipe for the best possible summertime event in friendly Valencia region…

Photo by: Serhii Basenko, AEGEE-Odessa

The ingredients are: 21 international participants, five brilliant organizers, caring helpers… Eight days in nine towns in the region of Valencia, a dozen Spanish festivals and parades… Educational city tours, tasty Spanish food, parties, a Sangria workshop, a diversified European night and finally the Europe’s muckiest and liveliest festival: ‘La Tomatina’.

The small village of Buñol hosted 25 000 tomato fans this year. We, a big AEGEE family, were among these thousands of adventure seekers hoping to survive this severe tomato fight. I have seen a lot of Tomatina photos before but I was still pretty shocked when I found myself in the middle of a tomato fight… That hour of chaos was the craziest time of my life.

Photo by Roosmarie Vanrusselt, AEGEE-Leuven

Here are some participants sharing their impressions: Sarah Stockner, AEGEE-Wien says that this was “the craziest event I ever attended and a once-in-a-lifetime-experience. Buñol, the little village, became a real battlefield for 2 hours, so if you got hit by a tomato in your eye like I did you can feel like a real warrior. I will keep on wearing my Tomatina bracelet showing that I survived this massacre and also to keep the memories of the best AEGEE people that I shared this fun with.”

Serhii Basenko, AEGEE-Odessa: “The ‘orange phoenix’ was truly a unique experience for me. During the whole event, I felt like I was being immersed in a completely different world with beautiful nature, great people and a unique Spanish atmosphere. Thanks to our organizers and helpers, the event was organized on the high level.”

Indeed, in these nine days we have managed to see and experience more than one can imagine. We had a chance to observe Muslim and Christian parades, enjoyed marvelous costumes and great performances, participated in bulls running and fire bull festivals, we got acquainted with the splendid city of Valencia and its smaller neighbor cities and we certainly became a part of the world’s largest food fight! Only the nine days in the summer of 2013 left an unforgettable impression for the rest of my whole life!


Written by: Olga Spytsia, AEGEE-Odessa