First Day of Feria

Trip Start Sep 24, 2007
Trip End Nov 04, 2008

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Friday, October 12, 2007

11 de octubre
             Today was the official start of the Ferial of Jaén. The Ferial is basically a week-long party that celebrates the end of bullfighting season. There are tons of events and stuff that people can go to. There's also a huge fairground that has rides and tons of stuff.
             Yesterday Amanda and I decided to get out of the house and experience some of this legendary Ferial, so we asked someone on the street for directions to a place that we thought had flamenco dancing. The woman we asked told us to basically take the bus up to the center of town and ask for directions there. I've decided that that's how they give directions here in Spain. "Go over there and ask someone else." That's how we've been getting around so far.
             The bus was really easy to find but once we got on, we realized that it wasn't turning around anytime soon, and it didn't appear to be going in the right direction. We would have been freaking out, but there were a ton of kids in the back of the bus who were all pretty excited and loud, so I figured they had to be going to the Ferial. The bus took the most round-about way to the other side of the city where the fairgrounds were, but, thankfully I had come back from Bedmar with a teacher yesterday and we passed by the fairground so I knew exactly where we were. The bus dropped us off right in front of one of the two huge doors of the fairground. The Ferial has two doorways which are constructed to look like famous things in Jaén. The door we were dropped off at looked like part of the castle on the hill and was covered in white lights. It was pretty impressive. 


    As we walked through the corridor of little stands selling purses, scarves, jewelry, t-shirts, shoes and basically anything else you could ever want to buy, we were amazed at the mass of lights and rides and people. Here's an idea of what we saw on our way into the Ferial for the first time. The most impressive thing was definitely the size. The place was huge and it was absolutely filled with merry-go-rounds and other rides that you would find in a carnival. There were also a ton of places to eat and drink as well. You couldn't take two steps without smelling baked potatoes stuffed with everything under the sun, or churros and chocolate, or kebabs.
             Since we didn't really know where the flamenco dancing was, we just decided to walk around and explore a little. We stopped at a café that served churros and chocolate. They were really good, but as soon as we started we realized that they were super filling and that we wouldn't be able to finish them. Word to the wise: if you get churros and chocolate, make sure you have at least three of four people working on one order of them. Yes, they are really that rich. I'm very glad I went running earlier.
             We also went by all the shops with little souvenirs and things. Actually, you would think that they only sold souvenirs, but they actually sell everything at the Ferial. They sell flamenco dresses, shoes, shirts, purses (a ton of purses), jewelry, and random other stuff that someone might want to buy. 
              On our way to find the bus, we went through the other door to the fair which is designed to look like the front of the cathedral. It's all pretty impressive. On that side of the fairground there were rows of tents set up where people could eat and drink. Many of them looked like legitimate bars complete with dance floor and everything.  We continued to walk around just to see what there was, and then we caught the bus back to our place.
             Really, I can't describe what this was like, so it's a good thing I took a ton of pictures. In this case pictures definitely speak louder than words.
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