Thursday, 18 August 2011
Fiestas in Alcala la Real
This weekend has seen fiestas in Alcala in celebration of their patron - la Virgen de las Mercedes - with the usual processions, bands, traditionally dressed Spanish girls and women of all ages, many candle-bearing worshippers and everyone out in their finery.
And we had the additional pleasure of spectacular fireworks on both Sunday and Monday evenings. I love fireworks!
On Sunday, I relented to Ruy's plea to stay at home to watch the match between Real Madrid and Barcelona (again!) so watched the fireworks from our roof terrace where we enjoyed a wonderful echoing effect with each explosion. Cesar took Mateo and Romy into the centre where they could hear the music that the fireworks were 'performing' to.
We decided to be prepared on Monday and to get a good viewing spot so drove up to the little square at San Marcos - where on Friday there had been a free concert of Flamenco, which was excellent. The view across Alcala towards La Mota is really spectacular from here. The procession was due to leave the church at about 9pm and the fireworks would start when the Virgin arrived back at the Church. We thought this would be around 11pm and so headed off to San Marcos at around 10.30 - along with Darwin who thought it was great fun.
The stage was still in the square from the Flamenco concert and Romy was drawn to it immediately. For a good fifteen minutes, she sang, danced, declaimed and recited, totally oblivious to anyone else around her. It was lovely to watch - which Cesar and I did from a distance.
By 11.45pm, we were convinced our information must be duff and that there would be no fireworks. No great crowds had arrived at the square and those who were there were either couples embracing on the benches or friends who brought pizzas to eat with them. So, we piled ourselves reluctantly back into the car and began the descent through the narrow winding streets - and as we did, three loud bangs heralded the start of the display!
We hadn't gone very far and were able to stop at the side of the road and still get an excellent view. I was a tad concerned that the noise would frighten Darwin, but not a bit of it. He sat a while on the wall and watched with interest but then clearly thought that if you've seen one firework, you've seen them all and found sniffing around by far a more interesting way to spend his time.
The effect of seeing La Mota through the fireworks was utterly stunning.
And next year, we'll know a little bit more about what to expect and when.