2 06 2010

Feria is the biggest thing that happens in Córdoba. Over the week, a temporary city appears by the river of hundreds casetas (decorated marquee tents). Next to the casetas is a village of rides on the Calle del Inferno. Inside the casetas, people dance Sevillas, drink wine eat tapas and have fun till the next morning everyday!

The feria takes place in a temporary village purpose-built with wide dusty streets for people to wander and those in carriages. Some casetas are even built with concrete and at the end of Feria people have removed them to construct houses with parts of the caseta forming walls! Above the people strings of Faroles span the streets and light up at night. If it rains during Feria, all the Faroles are replaced – no Feria without Faroles!

The women dress in their traditional dress, girls in identical to their Mums and boys in their little overalls and suspenders. There are frills an flowers everywhere. I hit the Feria twice. The first time we went with all the crew. We met for lunch, putting in for a huge spread which we shared and spending the afternoon watching and attempting to dance Sevillanas. We hit the Cuban tent for a change of pace – where our Latin crew went of like a frog in a sock – and snaps to the Córdobese, Marcos, who has rhythm in todas partes!

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Wandering from caseta to caseta we found all kinds of music and dancing. The Casetas are like little temporary bars – each with their own ambiance. In some we found traditional flamenco, in others, Abba – something for everyone. For a perfect end to the night, we stopped for waffles and syrup to close the 9-hour marathon – only we didn’t stop there. We ended up heading to a local bar for a hamburger, which I swear, was a foot in diameter.

Sitting eating our hamburger we some saw a bit of the darker side of the Feria, drunk families staggering home, fighting in the street, broken bottles and kids crying while they watched their mum pummel an aunt or sister-in-law, the blokes thrashing it out on the street stopping traffic. Not the best end to the night – but you get to see all sides 😛

The next day we returned with the language school – last year they had a group of about 20 who went along, however this year we re light on students so it was just the four of us – two students and two teachers, and another couple later in the day. When the casetas want to attract people, they give you a free drink. I guess the idea is that you then stay on for a second or third, but we managed to hop our way around the Feria getting free drinks and discounts. Meaning you, that meant we ended up in some pretty random casetas – like that of the chaos/antiauthoritarian casetta…

Then the guys from Peñarroya arrived and we hit the rides. I looked for the biggest, ugliest ride and we fixed on the ‘’ – which was worth the pain! Spinning jerking and flying through the air I found Minnie Mouse – I think she was two streets away but it could have been on a cloud and it was all I could do to catch her every time we spun around. I had my hands on my glasses the whole time guarding them. Unfortunately I didn’t have quite enough hands to catch my earrings and when we got off I was minus one – half of which I found two streets away…

Collecting and losing friends along the way,  I found myself in a group of Uni students in a tent way too loud and too much like lost nights of my teens. So I went for a wonder and found more friends who I joined on the Kangaroo – another whirling twirling jerking piece of fun – and this time I ditched anything that flies and falls. After a concert and a bunch of comedians I joined the young ones for some churros before we headed to the car to end the night. I was so ready after 12 hours to go home (around 2) but our driver was metres from the house when a friend buzzed and he went back for another 3 hours…




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