Sunday, September 21, 2014

Renaissance Feria at Castillo Sohail, Fuengirola

I was looking through some of my pictures, and realized that I haven't posted about some of the things I've done here in Fuengirola. This Renaissance Feria was about a month ago, so I thought I'd better get it in here before I forget (a common occurance nowa-days :s )
  The feria (kind of a themed market place with booths to sell you just about anything you can think of) was up at the castle grounds, and even had a bunch of booths INSIDE!   That was pretty cool to finally be able to explore there. The picture to the left shows one of the many food booths, featuring the famous Jamon Iberico, which is a ham ( although I think the hanging hams are fake) made only from Black Iberian Pigs left to roam around in oak groves eating grass, herbs, acorns, and roots. Just before they are dispatched, the "best" hams are just fed acorns and then they are salted and dried for a bit, then left hanging to cure for a year or four. It never is cooked, but I'm told it has a delicious rich taste from the exercise, acorns, and curing, and actually has fat that's good for you. I haven't tried it yet (for one thing it's very expensive), but hopefully I will before my time here is over.

 Some other interesting booths included one that had herbs to cure pretty much anything that could possibly be wrong with you,  including (as shown here) high cholesterol, diabetes, lumbago, high blood pressure, and insomnia.

Here is the traditional meat-on-a-stick-over-a-fire booth, along with a look at the inside of the castle.
There was even a Gypsy Tarot card reading booth (the closest one to the left side of the picture).  And no I didn't try it. The only time I've gotten my future read was the summer I was the "dog barn superintendent" at our county fair and was killing time. She said that I had a very close boyfriend. Nope. Then she said I must be dating a lot. Double nope. Then she got a bit miffed and told me that I would be married within the year and kicked me out.  She was right. 

They had a raptor exhibit (along with a boa you could handle for a "donation"),  

and pony rides (with "just in case" help right beside them. And no, I didn't try the pony rides either ;)
I think the best part, though, was getting to explore the inside of the castle finally. And as is typical for Spain, it didn't open until 7pm, so when I got there at 8pm the crowds were still pretty thin. People didn't really start to come until I left, at 9pm.  An interesting note - because of this tendency to late activity, the missionaries do most of their finding and teaching in what is the evening to us. They don't have to be back to their piso (apt) until 10:45 in the summer and 10:15 in the winter, bed at 11:30/11, and get up at 7:30/7am. I tend to wake up when I wake up (between 6 and 8 usually) and go to bed when I'm tired :)  Senior missionaries - half the rules and twice the fun as Elder Castillo says!  :)    
This is one of the activities near the castle. Looks fun - but I need to find a buddy willing to go along with me (on this, and the paragliding, pulled behind a boat, which really looks fun!). You can also rent little paddle boats, but they had paddled out of the frame by the time I got a picture that was even remotely in focus.


It was kind of a stormy day, which is unusual. I loved the sky - and I love sailboats, so I couldn't resist :)

Well, that's it for the Feria. We have a generic version every Tue at the fairgrounds that's kind of a farmer's market combined with booths of usually cheap merchandise. Then on Sat there is one that's kind of like a giant flea market with booths selling used "treasures" of everything imaginable. Kind of fun to explore. As a last note, this last week was transfers. We got in 26 new missionaries, and sent a bunch home too, so it was a very busy week of feeding hungry young missionaries, trying to keep them awake while getting in a bit of training, herding them around, and in general trying to give them a good start to their new mission. I absolutely love being around such fantastic young people, and look forward to getting to know them better. We also said goodby to a bunch of old friends (a couple of which I had gotten to know very well), and got THEM started on their "real" lives. Not a one of them wanted their mission to be over!  Judging from them, the church will be in good hands for many years to come.  I love being a missionary!!!


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