Monday, August 23, 2010

 

Almería 'de Fiestas'

We went to the opening yesterday of this summer's Almería fair ('fiesta') which lasts the usual eight days. Give the Spanish their due, the bigger the town (or the town's coffers), the longer and jollier the Saint's Day becomes. A few years ago, Almería would run to ten days of party, concerts, fun fair and bullfights, but now with the recession ('¡ay!').
Yesterday's opening at what is known as the 'feria del mediodía' went on as these things do, for several hours with horsemen and carriages going up and down the main street of the fairground, while showing off, passing the day, drinking and being photographed by me and a few others. There was no particular focus, or formal parade, just people dressed to the eyeballs doing their piece. The gentlefolk and the gypsies were immediately identifiable with their different customs and characters. I went off and had a beer in one of the stalls while they got on with it - a beer and a tapa (Almería is famous for having the best and biggest tapas - a small plate of fingerfood - in Spain). The fairground fills up later on, after the bullfight in the bullring at the other end of the city. Yesterday, it was a special with rejoneadores, mounted bullfighters, which is a sight to see. One family we met at the horse event was carrying on to the bullfight (7.00pm) and then back for a late night thrash at the fair.
Did you see the lady riding side-saddle... and the work in Loli's horse's mane?


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