Monday, August 26, 2013

Have I Stayed Too Long At The Fair?

Forgive me for being kind of sarcastic today, but I can't help myself.

Well, OK, I can help myself.

I just don't want to.

I took a walk to Sohail Castle Saturday at 7 p.m.  It's about a 4-km (2.5-mile) walk, the last quarter mile up the steep castle hill. It was a warm evening and I walked at a comfortable pace, arriving at the top about 45 minutes later. The highly touted (by a Costa del Sol tourist newspaper and by Fuengirola's Department of Tourism and Events) Medieval Market opened Friday night.

From my perspective the only things "Medieval" about this market were the location (a 10th-century castle), the pseudo-Medieval costumes, and some of the decorations. And I suppose that would have been just fine with me if it hadn't been for the hype. There were many vendors, inside and outside the castle walls, selling the same things I've seen at every fair/market in Sevilla and Málaga — and right down the street last week at the little summer market near our house.

STEPPING INTO THE PAST?

I suppose my opinion wasn't helped any when, upon entering the castle, the first tent I saw contained a collection of captive owls (no rescue organization or zoo identified). For 3 euros, you could have your picture taken with whichever owl you chose. The Great Horned looked right into my eyes as if to say, "Don't even think about it!" I wouldn't have anyway.

PERHAPS SOME MEDIEVAL COTTON CANDY FOR OUR STROLL BACK IN TIME.

There was a little archery tent where kids (with careful management — and a little cash, of course) could shoot an arrow into a target.

So the market and fair weren't much different in content from other markets and fairs I've visited. But to be less unkind, it was a very nice market and fair. The location and views are stunning. The layout made it fun to walk around. There were plenty of places to eat (and drink) and plenty of places to sit and relax. And I'm sure it was a great place to party at night (hours were 7 p.m. to 2 a.m.).

So, despite the sarcasm, it was worth seeing and I'm glad I went. I just think the newspaper may have over-stated it when they reported: "the Market is considered one of the most important in Spain," and is like "entering a time tunnel that takes us back to the past."

The biggest surprise for me were the number of bars specializing in Mojitos and Caipirinhas. I had no idea these went back to Medieval times... (They don't, really.) I was tempted to order one (or the other) at the bar that claimed to have the best. But I was without my Medieval charger, palfrey, or packhorse (or my Medieval ass for that matter) and it was a long walk home.

LOTS OF MEAT...
TRADITIONAL FOOTWEAR.
MORE BOOTHS OUTSIDE THE CASTLE WALLS.
VIKING INVADERS HEADING ONTO THE FOOD TERRACE FOR SOME MEAT... AND MOJITOS.
ROSES MADE OF WOOD. BEAUTIFULLY DONE.
CHOCOLATE!!! A VENDOR IN MEDIEVAL AFRICAN PATTERN AND CROCS FOOTWEAR. 
A ROOM WITH A VIEW... AND SWEET CREPES AND PASTRIES.
LOTS OF ORIGINAL MEDIEVAL GOODS.
(INCLUDING A FABRIC MONKEY BACKPACK AND NATIVE AMERICAN DREAM CATCHERS.)
APPARENTLY, MOJITOS AND CAIPIRINHAS WERE VERY POPULAR WAY BACK WHEN.
RETURNING TO MODERN TIMES.
NUT-SELLER (RIGHT) ON AN AUTHENTIC CELL PHONE.

20 comments:

  1. Did you really expect camel meat on skewers? Or El Cid Campeador to do a strip number for you? lol

    saludos,
    raulito

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Raulito:
      Well, I could live without the camel skewers, but El Cid doing a strip would have been nice!

      Delete
    2. Raulito:
      But, to be clear, that would be the real El Cid... not the Charlton Heston version!

      Delete
  2. I liked the hunky guy (in white) making the mojitos in third last picture..... nice arms & shoulders!

    ReplyDelete
  3. I liked the photo looking through the castle wall... now THAT looks medieval.... the rest of the fair just looks evil.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sharon:
      It was really a very nice market and, in the heat, there were some people who at least smelled like I suppose they did in Medieval times.

      Delete
  4. Signs of the times I guess.....people selling their 'wares' to make a living.
    The castle and location are spectacular!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Jim:
      Yeah, imagine that! But, it was honestly a very nice market. I've just been to so many now that I recognize the vendors. It's not likely I'm going to find something new or exciting to buy... except maybe some fresh pastries... or a mojito.

      Delete
  5. You had me at lots of meat. There's something wonderful about meat sizzling on a spit or grill.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Stephen:
      I have to admit, I'm quite a carnivore myself. But seeing it all hanging around at these fairs doesn't thrill me. I'm a hypocrite-carnivore... Chocolate, pastries, and mojitos, on the other hand...

      Delete
  6. I see what you mean. All the usual tat for sale but in a lovely setting, any excuse to separate a tourist from his/her hard earned cash.
    Fun for the first few times I suppose!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Jean:
      And after all I said, I'd probably go back next year... just for the setting (well and maybe one of those "best" mojitos or caipirinhas).

      Delete
  7. Spo has that same Viking hat. I've told him repeatedly that he cannot bring it if we ever visit Europe together. Now that there appears to be precident, however.....

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. HK:
      I thought of Spo when I saw the Viking. Spo carries it off so much better. Do you suppose he has the balls to actually wear the "hat" in Europe? (And, having now dared him...)

      Delete
    2. If he thought he could it past TSA he'd wear it on the plane

      Delete
  8. How many locals vs tourists do you think there were?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Nubian:
      I have tried and tried to find info on that without success. There are approx. 75,000 registered residents of Fuengirola. But, I don't even know how many of those are here year-round.

      As an example though, the town of Conil De La Frontera, also on the Costal del Sol but in Cádiz Province, has around 21,000 residents and that number increases to somewhere around 120,000 in August...

      Delete
  9. I'd be all over that medieval bakery!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Knatolee:
      San Geraldo's on a diet, so I've been eating healthy along with him. But it's time for me to head off and my own for churros and chocolate or/AND a big chocolate bar. I've got a craving. I can't believe I didn't buy anything at the bakery booth. It all looked delicious.

      Delete

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