A couple of weeks ago we went to a medieval market in Alcalá de Henares; a large town about 25km to the east of Madrid. It is where I was working when I first met Dani’s mum. Although I spent about two years in Alcala de Henares I never realised this medieval market was an annual event. I had never heard of it and certainly would have remembered attending it. Whatever…
It turns out that this is the biggest market of its kind in Europe. And it certainly seemed to be.
Apart from this large well attended festival the town is famous for being the birth place and home of one Miguel Cervantes (Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra to give him his full name). Possibly the most famous Spanish writer and one of the world’s pre-eminent novelists. It is said that his most famous novel, Don Quixote, has been translated into more languages than any other book except the Bible. That said it is still a book I have never even felt like reading – literary philistine that I am.
The town of Alcalá de Henares is a little like Stratford on Avon in England. While both have other things to see and do their main source of tourism derives from their famous writing sons.
Will Shakespeare: 23 Apr 1564 – 23 Apr 1616 (age 52)
Miguel Cervantes: 29 Sep 1547 – 23 Apr 1616 (age 68)
They died the same day! An odd coincidence. It was far too crowded to get into Cervantes house but we had been before and will probably go again.
A Hard Day’s Knight
The medieval fighting was held inside the old town walls. The crowd was split into 4 groups by the master of ceremonies with the idea being that each section would cheer one of the four knights. Our quadrant was to support the Grey Knight. As luck would have it he was the clown. An absolute cheat and master of dirty tricks. It was all good fun though. The kids loved it. So did I.
It was hot and they must have been burning up in their armour. Well done to the actors.
As expected, after all his antics he met with a timely defeat.
Licenced to Print Money…
One stall seemed to be making more money than any other. In more than one sense. This guy was punching out “coins” non-stop. At 5 Euros a pop. Literally making money. He had a big selection of coin designs. All he had to do was place the blank “coin” between two stamps and hit with his sledgehammer. Hey presto artificial “money” made; real money paid.
Dani went for Darth Vader on one side with Superman “S” on the other. While Susana chose Disney’s Elsa (Frozen). Hey. Boys and girls. They are different. No matter what the lunatics out there try to tell us. Dani’s coin went straight in his treasure chest when he got home.
Dark Knights to Dark Nights…
The clocks go back an hour this weekend. The weather is turning cooler. Much cooler. There will be few days as warm as this for a while. Dark nights and dark mornings to come. At least in the northern hemisphere.
Meanwhile Dani’s mum has gone to Australia again with work to try and win a contract. ‘Down-under’ winter is over and it will soon be summer. If his mum does well Dani could be learning to surf in Oz this time next year. Maybe… Just maybe…