It’s twenty past three in the morning and someone hands you a beer…
…welcome to a ‘rest’ day in Spain. This is what happens when you travel, meet local people and are open to saying ‘yes’ to the experiences they offer to share.
Last week Teruel was just a larger blob on my map and a name on a road sign. Somewhere to tick off on my journey north. I had arranged to stay in Molina Del Campo about 30 miles north of Teruel with a warmshowers host named Gloria.
However this weekend Teruel has celebrated “the wedding of Isabel”. It’s a star crossed lovers story set in the 13th century and brings in people from all around the city and region. On any day the city itself is beautiful in it’s own right built on three hills and with unique architecture that is a fusion of muslim and christian influences.
However for this weekend it becomes a medieval town. There are street performances across the city that act out the story of the lovers. All performed by local people rather than professionals. There is also a reenactment of a medieval battle, a ‘tournament’ and random displays of falconry, medieval dancing and music. As this is Spain there is also an event involving a bull on a rope running around the town square!
Local people group together and have tents themed around medieval trades or families. Each tent has a fire pit, food cooking and wine and beer flowing. The tents are the focus for these local people for the weekend but also act as a spectacle for the tourists.
The Spanish love a good party and so it’s a throng of sights, smells and sounds. Just as I think I have a handle on this country though it throws something random at me. Being in a Simpsons themed bar during a medieval festival was definitely odd.
After watching a ‘folk’ rock band that have a huge tent dancing and singing we end up in the oldest bar in Teruel dancing to Spanish hits of the 60’s and 70’s. No one cares how they look and are just having a good time. The music can only be described as random and then suddenly a batch of english ska songs are played and everyone skanks around the dance floor!
So I’ve not slept much but avoided a hangover. As I’m travelling ‘with’ a bike but have no set rules I’m going to accept the offer of a lift to Zaragoza and next week ride onwards into the countryside of north east Spain. Time to retreat back into my tent for a rest!