Busy Weekend

Last weekend was a busy one.

On Friday evening Dani went to a local fair (feria) in the adjacent neighbourhood (barrio) of Hortaleza. Like so many other towns and villages Hortaleza used to be a town in its own right but has been swallowed up in the general Madrid conurbation over the years. Yet it still retains its own feria week just as if it was still a separate town.

It was a full on fair (feria) with big wheel (noria) and other less than safe looking rides. Hundreds of youths from the area queued up to ride these things that I am sure would never pass the first stages of health and safety checks in the UK. It is so typical in Spain. They just don’t care.

As John Hooper points out in his book The New Spaniards; the Spanish are natural risk takers.

Dani’s Favourite…

Dani loved watching the rides and hearing the kids screaming. Right now he is too small for the more dangerous looking rides but soon enough I will have to take him on some of these dodgy “attractions”. He was more than happy to go on one of those bouncy castle type things – his fairground attraction of choice at the moment.

The fair was held in a park area which has an outdoor auditorium. Local dance and flamenco schools have been taking part in stage shows and contests with dancers of all ages taking part. Concerts featuring local bands are scheduled for later in the week to mark the end of the feria week. This feria still retains a great sense of family participation despite the ubiquitous packs of teenagers wondering around seeking out the ride that will scare them the most.


On Saturday morning I took Dani to his first beer festival. Of course he didn’t drink any and I only sampled a few small glasses. I also had a meal and a break before driving back. It was a craft beer festival in a small town over 1000m above sea level in the mountains outside Madrid. The mountain air certainly did its thing on Dani and he was dog-tired when we returned to Madrid in the afternoon.

In the evening I went to a bar to watch the two Madrid teams play in the European Champions League final. Dani is still too small to appreciate the enormity of such an event. The second time in three years the final has been contested between the two Madrid footballing giants. Anyway enough about that. The team I wanted to win lost. Although I am far less bothered about football these days I still find it hard to watch a game and not take sides. At least a little.

On to Sunday….

A fitting end to a busy weekend. A kid’s party in a purpose built venue complete with caged play area. It was the 3rd birthday for Daniela one of Dani’s nursery friends.

Running around with kids his own age it was clear that Dani would be completely tired out when we got home. That was only after a major struggle trying to get him out of the place. He was enjoying it too much. When we arrived home he was just awake long enough to bath and have something to eat before almost nodding off into his food. He asked to go to bed! Great. Job done.

Sure enough Dani bounced back full of life on Monday morning. I think weekends like that one are more tiring for me than for the little lad.