A JOURNEY BACK TO THE DAYS OF YORE
18.07.2008 - 19.07.2008 20 °C
First, there was the Jesters Night.
It was impressive to see so many people in costume and I wondered how amazing it would look if EVERYONE had made an effort.
We started by wandering the stalls of handcrafts and peering into the displays of tents and observing the people camping and living here the way they would have in the days of yore. It was easy to imagine what life was like back then, well, visually anyway.
We decided to fully appreciate where we were and get into the spirit of it we should hit the tavern and grab a König Ludwig Dunkel bier, served, naturally, in a one liter steinkrug!
We kicked back in the bier garden and people watched for a while (the most interesting people watching I've had in a while).
After a liter it was decided we should keep moving, as we had no idea how big this place was and getting a little too comfortable sitting drinking.
The whole place was set up as a medieval village around Kaltenberg Castle.
Stages were busy with amazing performances, bands, acrobatics, dances and theaters.
A parade started to wind its way through the streets and all manner of peoples Medieval and otherwise passed by entertaining the gawping crowds.
Food was everywhere and I had a great goulash stew served in a hard bread bowl that I then ate! All crockery should be made of edible materials. A pity my spoon wasnt as well, though I found that out the hard way.
There were also many people practicing and selling their trades and wares.
As the light started to fade, fires were lit, torches hung and the mood started to change.
Deep, dark shadows formed and the fires bathed their surroundings in a soft, flickering, yellow light.
We delved into the taverns where the ceilings were low, the air thick and strange types skulked in dark corners.
We sampled some strange drinks
and all that was left to make the scene complete was a good ol' traditional bar brawl!
Then there was the Tournament Day!
We had time to kill before it began so took the time to wander around a bit and enjoy nature.
This is where we changed into our custom made medieval costumes and fit in with the locals.
We shopped around the fascinating stalls, hmm, I need a new helm,
drank beer by the liter stein, we ate heartily and saw many fantastic performances.
There were alot more knights around today, obviously. Some brandishing their team flags,
some practicing, some acting as security,
and some posing for the onlookers.
When the tournament time came, we made our way to the arena. The crowd was thick, with na'er a seat spare.
The royal box dominated one end of the arena, the large wooden doors underneath, swung open releasing a parade which slowly snaked its way away around the arena.
The knights rode around the arena to the applaud of the crowd, brandishing their banners before splitting up and casting their team banners into the ground around the arena.
Each knight faced the crowd near his banner and worked them into a cheering frenzy. It was understood that we had all been allocated our own team to root for.
But of course, it was not just knights running at each other with long poles trying to knock each other off! As our programs indicated there was an entire story like a Knights Tale drama unfolding before us. The MC was a great story teller and herald and worked the crowd up with his dramatic oratory, translated where necessary by Alisa (thanks for that).
The victor won the fair maiden and all would have ended happily if it werent for the arrival through the crowd of the Black Knight! There were sword fights, horse stunts, music, lighting, special effects and they even had a disappearing act!
After the joust allot left but Emma and I wandered around to check out the post joust atmosphere. We saw traditional court dancing in the castle,
watched fascinated for what seemed like a long time at some blacksmiths at their trade (the rhythmic sound of alternating hammers on metal was mesmerizing),
And got a chance to meet some of the local 'talent'.
Then there was the come down in the aftermath of the excitement, when everyone went home and a silence descended over the castle like the plague had hit town.
Campfires were extinguished one by one, the echo of music faded and people started to disappear until only an occasional glimpse was caught. The fun was over for the night.
For them they would do it all again next weekend, but for us, our trip back in time was over and we would have to wait another year.