you know that miguel cervantes guy? no? well, he is kind of a big deal here in spain… alcalá de henares, to be exact. cervantes is the author of “don quixote”, and it is said that alcalá was his place of birth. well, actually they don’t really know that for sure, but his name is written on the baptismal roll at a cathedral in the city, so birth…. baptism… it is all the same. alcalá will take the claim to fame. (and construct a museum boasting the “birthplace of cervantes” even though it probably isn’t so)
anyway, last week was the “semana cervantina”, which meant the city was transformed, for about a week, into a 16th century city full of medieval food vendors and craftsmen, all wearing traditional clothing (and all smoking medieval cigarettes, i am sure). there were also plays, wild animals, hand cranked carnival rides for the kids, and a whole lot of people. the people! i tell you what, i think the ENTIRE community of madrid made a stop over in alcalá some time during last week. the party never stopped! trying to get anywhere downtown was a complete mess, but i guess that shows just how un-spanish i am, because the crowds didn’t even phase the locals one tiny bit.
i went down to check everything out one day during the siesta, so i could snap a few photos without the hustle and bustle, then diana and i went and braved the crowds one night, bought some medieval cheesecake, ate some andalusian kebaps and cous cous, and watched some dancing. here’s some of the photos from before the crowds… warning. picture overload… i just couldn’t stop!
stay tuned for more semana cervantina fun.