Bright medieval banners and flags are strung from balcony to balcony through much of the old city in preparation for the medieval mercado noviembre del 14 al 17. Each little plaza has a number of stalls and the vendors are all in costume. There’s a lovely festive feeling to the town.
Roving minstrels add to the atmosphere, together with street performers, stilt walkers, a rambling yak (being lead by an equally hairy handler), a lost llama with a saddle (if you cared for a ride – or a photo), a collection of raptors – rather fat and sleepy (you could have your photo taken with one perched on a leather glove on your arm for 10 euros), perfume, soap and candle vendors, leather goods, food (local delicacies, pulpo, chorizo and blood sausages, crepes, sangria (don’t go near that stuff!), wooden artefacts, sweets, jewellery, 20 types of olives, huge wheels of cheese, more food …
To my ears, all of the people ambling around were Spanish – not a foreign word to be heard. There was just a gentle burble of voices – apart from the school students on excursions! The primary children, marching along crocodile-style, sound as though they have swallowed whistles. Teachers look as focussed as their colleagues in Oz, keeping an eye on all the little wrigglers.
In between doing the medieval wander, which meant three circuits of the old town to ensure no stall or event had been missed, visited the Museo Provincial de Caceres, which has an 11th Century Muslim cistern located in its bowels, an interesting collection of archaeological pieces, a collection of some impressive contemporary art and an Exposition Temporal by photographer Ouka Leele…massive images.
After all this culture, a glass (or two) of wine and some tapas were required. Calenda, a modern tapas bar, in an old building served simply fabulous tapas. The delicious wine Nadir was from the Estremadura region. Will go back for more of both.