Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Festival day in Figueres

When we visited Figueres on Friday we found it in an unusual state of total gridlock. We veered off along a side street and worked our way around to another little street where we found a parking spot. As the previous day May 1, was a holiday, the regular Thursday market had been moved back to Friday. This was a bonus for us, as we needed to do some shopping and had given up on the low quality of produce at our own Friday market.

This wasn't the only reason for the traffic jams. It was the Festival of Santa Cruz. On Las Ramblas and adjoining streets vendors were busy setting up stalls of clothing, jewelry, honey, cheeses and more. At one huge stall we found all kinds of dried herbs and herbal concoctions for whatever ails you. A huge outdoor restaurant had been set up and already there was a gigantic, rotating barbecue full of sausages, steak and ribs cooking away. It looked and smelled delicious. At the far end of the ramblas a jousting arena was set up. While some vendors were setting up others were already doing business but many had set up only to close again on their three-hour afternoon break. It doesn't matter if there are tourists willing to buy, the afternoon break is sacrosanct for many. It was a very busy day in Figueres with very long line ups for the Dali museum. We decided not to wait for the jousting festivities, which were probably a lot later in the evening.

 Meanwhile, we made our way to the old slaughterhouse. It is a lovely old building that has been fully renovated as an exhibition hall. We always admire the roof with shades of green and red tile. Today was the "Mostra d'Art Floral Flors de Circ" or Circus Flowers show in conjunction with the Circus Arts Foundation. Every February Figueres has a huge circus festival that brings performers from all over the world. At the heart of today's display there were twenty-two very old circus posters, from 1915-1930 that the foundation had acquired and a collection of old costumes from the shows made by a now defunct Parisienne tailoring firm. These were all beautifully displayed among flower creations from local florists. What a novel and lovely display!


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