August 19, 2005

8/19/05 Málaga Spain

To the Feria!!!

Definitely the cloudiest day this summer but it usually gets sunny after lunch.

Just for something different, Eva and I joined Cameron on another beach hunting expedition up the coast. Nice quiet beaches but the sun refused to shine. We had lunch in “Toure del Mar” and checked out their beaches too. And believe it or not, it started to sprinkle. It was nice anyway just to lie there and not have to worry about a sun burn.

Today is Eva's last day in Málaga. She goes to Madrid for a few days, then back to Vienna. A really nice girl. And she said Vienna isn't so far from Switzerland and Italy, so if I visit friends there, I might as well include Austria. That would be great.So many people!

About 10pm a bunch of us from school took the bus to the Feria. The city has set up a huge complex on the other side of town for this party that's been celebrated since 1887. On that first year, it was to celebrate the 400 the anniversary of the Reconquest of Spain. And the people of Málaga have been partying ever since then.

One of the symbols of Málaga

Nothing I've been to in the US could have prepared me for what I saw. Imagine a basketball court-size hall with a bar, kitchen, tables and chairs, and a stage and dance floor filled with people eating, drinking and dancing to live music. Now, imagine a street with 300 of those halls side-by-side. Even though most 'casetas' were filled with people, the streets were full too. And all this doesn't even include the huge fairgrounds next door with all it's amusement park rides.

The Spanish language students in the cities many schools had a special invitation to the Tourism Board's caseta, where we were given free drinks and tapas while we waited for a flamenco concert to begin. The music was provided by a guitarist, a singer and a box percussionist. And they were joined by a flamenco dance troupe. What a great concert. The dancers even pulled people out of the audience to dance with them. The crowd went wild after they a little old lady began to show them that she learned a thing or two about dancing in her youth.

Cameron, Jan & Tomas enjoying the festivities

May I have another?




Showing the youngsters a thing or two about dancing

After the concert was over, Eva, Cameron and I tried to take in this 'chaos' of a party. Here it was 2am and it looked like the festivities were just beginning. We stopped in a few more casetas. Some had more of a happy wedding reception feel with whole families shaking it up on the dance floor. While others definitely attracted a younger crowd with 'house' music.

When Cameron had been here in Málaga ten years ago, he had also gone to that Feria. So he wasn't too enthusiastic about coming tonight. We all expected to make an appearance, then go home early. Cameron walked around in stunned shock at the differences. But the huge grin on his face and the fact that we stayed so late told us it was a huge success.