Sunday, 17 July 2011
Today is Sunday 17th July.
Another scorching hot day here in Alcala la Real.
And the last day of the Etnosur Festival.
People still playing in the fountains in the Paseo - and still dancing away to music.
But already, the Recinto Ferial - the marketplace - which yesterday was full of market stalls selling ethnic jewellery, clothes and the like, is empty of traders and the stage has been dismantled. And on Tuesday, it will be filled again with the traditional market traders, selling fruit, vegetables, clothes and shoes.
On Saturday night, we went down to listen to the music and soak up the atmosphere with some friends.
Romy and Marta enjoyed trying some of the lovely handmade puppets
And there was dancing in the streets...
And Ruy showed that he knows how to get the best view!
There were some wonderful food stalls - including delicious crepes, food from Thailand, India and Italy as well as jamon and paella stalls. We had an amazing lime and mint drink, freshly-made in front of us and served over crushed ice. Heavenly.
And although we didn't try it, this contraption is squeezing the sugar from sugar cane.
We stayed to listen to the excellent music until around 1.30am when Romy - having spent most of the evening dancing enthusiastically - suddenly ran out of energy and needed to go home.
What impresses me so much about life in Spain - epitomised by this festival - is how good-natured the crowds of people are.
In spite of the noise, the bustle and the crowds - there has been such a wonderful sense that people are having fun, are enjoying themselves; there has been no underlying violence or bad feelings - something I found so prevalent in the UK wherever crowds gathered - and I think part of the reason for this is that all the community has taken part in the festival.
Old people, young people, people in-between and most of all - children. And something for everyone.
I was a little shocked yesterday when I saw the amount of rubbish that had accumulated in the Paseo - it really looked dreadful and as if an army would be needed to clear it up. But today, it was looking almost back to normal, despite the fact that the party was still going on. The authorities in Alcala have got this festival well-organised.
Well done them, I say. Well done everyone who has made it a wonderful weekend.