Thursday, June 23, 2011

Festival of Torrejón de Adroz

The past five days in the town I’ve been staying in with my family (Torrejón de Adroz) had its annual fair. This village wide festival is similar to a state fair (basing my assumption of the MN state fair, but without the awesome Sweet Martha’s cookies). It’s got all the typical expensive, fatty, foods on a stick, and many amusement rides that aren’t nearly worth their cost (euros/ride is about $5). None the less, it was fun to check it out with my family the other night. Some notable differences between this fair and ones in the U.S. include:

1.    Time – Unlike the MN State Fair which goes all day long and ends around midnight, this one is just getting started early in the morning. When I left with my family it was 11:00, we returned at 2:00 and the fair was livelier than ever. At night, I have heard bands playing until 4:00 a.m. Last Saturday, I had to wake up early for an excursion, and at 7:00 a.m. there were many people still walking home from the fair!
2.    Groups/Clubs – One of the most unique aspects was that almost all of the locals form groups with friends and families, wear their club shirt, and a pair of white pants, which they have people sign throughout the night. My cousin had a group with her friends, she says its one of the most exciting events of the year.
3.    Bulls – Throughout the week, the fair has bullfights daily, a Spanish tradition. Although I have never witnessed one myself, I have heard that they are extremely gruesome in the way the torture the bull. Many of my classmates attended a bullfight two weeks ago and left shortly after it began.
4.    Running with the Bulls – On the last day of the fair, they put fences up on both sides of the main street and allow bulls to run through the fair. You are allowed to chase after them if you dare.
5.    Safety Regulations – The one amusement ride I rode certainly would not have been up to U.S. safety standards. It was similar to a ride you can find at many American theme parks, you sit down, you’re strapped in, and the ride ascends and descends in a circular motion, and it feels like you loose your stomach at the top right before you accelerate downward. This ride at the festival had the exact same concept, but instead of sitting, you stand in a cage with multiple people. I was in a cage with my cousin and one other girl, it was complete chaos! I was wearing sandals so I couldn’t grip the platform very well, and when the ride reached it’s maximum speed, we would be thrown from side to side. I accidently slammed in to my cousin a few times, and at the top you can jump right before the ride descends and “float for a while”. It was really fun the first time, but the second time I jumped too high and hit my head against the top of the cage. When it ended, it was bittersweet. I was happy to be alive and at the same time I wanted to ride it again.

Until Next Time!


All of the Lights!

The Shield of Torrejon

My cousin Yas, and her two friends wearing their club outfits

The crazy ride!

No comments:

Post a Comment