25 August 2006

Feria de Alcala

Since last weekend the feria of Alcala has been going on each day and every night. There's actually a huge carnival with lots of rides run by Romanians and food booths, lots of churros and waffles, bad soggie french fries and grilled meats. There are white tents of differnt clubs, some which serve food or have entertainment. But it is only a handful compared to the Seville Feria. Some of the tents are run by things like: The Communist Party of Spain, or the Socialist Party with Zapatero (the current prime minister). Some are just groups, like Elks Lodge clubs. Groups of people get together and drink and hang out and are a main feature of the feria.

People aren't dressed up like in Sevilla either. Some little girls I've seen in the pokadotted flamenco dresses, but no grown ups. Plaza Cervantes, our main square, is lit up with lights over a band stand and the streets surrounding have a light design hanging across the road. Think the Christmas decor on street lights only bigger and across little skinny roads. The Plaza Cervantes has been full of tables and chairs for summer, but now they all have people in them. A little brass band plays in the plaza after marching through the streets with a different "elks lodge" type group behind them singing each night. Then the band plays in the Plaza Cervantes. Then at 11 pm at the other end of the Plaza Cervantes another band will play and people will dance (more of the older set, not the rock and roll set) Supposedly later they play younger music. Other features are occuring in different parts of town in other plazas.

At midnight there is a main attraction each night all week. Sometimes several. One night was a flamenco ballet, one was a zarzuela - a sort of classical story/sing/dance almost opera type thing but Spanish. Those cost money. So far I haven't got anyone to stay out late to check it all out. But we've seen bits of the bands hangin out in Plaza Cervantes or passing through on the way for a walk or back to the car.

The later you're there the more crowded it gets. We could barely get out the entrance of the carnival at 11pm Saturday, so many people streaming in. We tried to eat lunch there Sunday - nothing was open at 3 pm. Nothing, like a ghost town. Definitely a night time event. Friends from church said they went to the fair to eat after a concert last weekend and it was still in full swing at 2 am when they left. It's a different world.

We took Dulce down Tuesday night. We figured it would be good socialization. She couldn't possibly growl at every stranger. She did good except when we sat still then she felt she could growl at certain people. Not sure how she picks who she's going to growl at.

This Saturday I'm going to go to the symphony concert at midnight (5E) with a couple other people. Everyone from the office is going to bring tapas and chairs and go watch the fireworks from the bosses's neighborhood Sunday night for the finale of the feria. The fireworks are, yes, you guessed it, at midnight.


  1. You're right. That sounds like a completely different world. Very much a night life environment. Not that I'd mind...

  2. So do people get up early or do they sleep in every day? If they get up early, when do they sleep? Does everyone just sleep in 2 shifts each day - 4-5 hours at night and 2-3 hours in the afternoon?

  3. It's odd. Most working people I talk to or non-retirees say the siesta isn't really for sleeping anymore. I think they drink copious amounts of caffeine all through the day and don't sleep a lot. People do tend to sleep in (when possible) and tend to go to work at later hours. That's not universal, but there's are some weird times for traffic jams - i.e. 8:30-9am when you'd think everyone would be at work by that time.

  4. sounds cool! I would fit right in! I love mornings and night time...but I too would live on caffiene if I did that all the time. Eventually I have to sleep. Funny how it works that way.

  5. I wouldn't survive the nightlife. Glad Dulce is getting out and having fun.

  6. Sounds like my kind of place when everybody starts rolling on all fours around midnight. You guys have a party every week.