May 10, 2009
[ Ibiza, Spain travel photos ]
Alison: Yeah! More food! And, oh, yeah, some culture mixed in. Actually, a lot of culture. Seriously, the typical Ibiza Medieval Fair event schedule is jam packed. Get ready to do a slow and steady climb up Dalt Vila be surrounded by people.
Wear comfortable shoes, as the streets are cobblestone. And take some water. You are not going anywhere fast.
Apparently, the three-day event attracts around 100,000 visitors. Yikes. Half of that number must have decided to take go the same day we did.
Best way to manage the crowd: Occasionally remove yourself from traffic to get a closer look at the many wares offered in the booths lining the narrow streets. Or, get distracted by a sale sign and duck into a shop.
Luc: Yes, and leaving me stranded. Here I am taking a picture, turned around and … she’s gone!
I can assure you, when you are in crowd this size and in a new environment, you don’t want to lose anyone.
You will never find her… until you start looking around for shops. I do and sure enough, there’s this shop with leather bags in the window. I look in and here is Alison in an intense negotiating session with the shopkeeper. And after all that, she comes out empty-handed. I invite anyone to let me know if there is a cure for this. (Feel free to leave a comment below).
Alison: The Medieval Fair is always held the second week of May. 2009 marked the 10th anniversary of Dalt Vila’s designation by UNESCO as a World Heritage site. Apparently UNESCO also considers Dalt Vila the most well-preserved acropolis in the Mediterranean. And the site really is quite amazing.
Entering Dalt Vila
A rather magical transformation happened even before we entered the walled city of Dalt Vila. Heralded by acrobats and trumpeters, we passed through the iron gate and were immediately in another world. Potters, tanners and weavers dressed in period costume were busy at work.
Alison: My first thought: Are those pots for sale? (A question that will repeat in our trip to Barcelona … ).
We occasionally stopped to get a closer look.
Alison: Luc is tempted by the mounds of spices, and me by the extensive selection of olives available. Purchases included more paprika and a selection of olives from J. Pericas, a family firm around since 1964, and which like many of the sellers, is a feature and area fairs and festivals.
While there is definitely a degree of schmaltz that comes with a 21st century rendition of medieval living, it is easy to overlook and caught up in the fun. Kids were really having a great time as there are a lot of street musicians and other entertainers putting on a show as you weave your way up through the streets.
Also an amazing show with falconers, the birds flying just overhead, low enough to startle the adults and elicit squeals of delight (or fear) from the little ones.
And once we get to the top of Dalt Vila, a reward awaits: beer and what passes as the medieval approximation of a food court. So many different offerings. But by that time, I was past hungry and just wanted a place to sit, sip my beer and observe. We found a great spot overlooking the coast. Breathtaking.
But alas, what comes up, must come down. Just to ensure I know how far we have come – and have yet to go – Luc takes a picture. I am tempted to see if we can” jump a fence,” so to speak, to skip a couple of levels. No such luck.
The Medieval Fair is unique and a lot of fun. Don’t miss it.