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Saturday, May 11: Day 19 – Feria

Today we started with a trip to the grocery store. You can see that the baskets are different than ours. $50 of groceries prepared at our Airbnb will replace about $250 of restaurant meals.

In the late afternoon we went to a movie theater to watch a newly-released film, The Hustle, in Spanish. We understood what was happening only because it follows the same plot as another movie we had seen, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels.

In the evening was the first lighting of the week-long Feria celebration in Jerez de la Frontera. The heritage of horse breeding culminates in the annual festival of the horses, Feria del Caballo, celebrated in Jerez every year in May.

Feria is held in rectangular-shaped Gonzalez Hontoria Park which is more than a thousand feet long. I have never seen so many people jammed into one place. At times it was hard to move.

Some of the women wore stunning flamenco dresses known as “trajes de gitanas” (gypsy dresses) and some men wore short-cropped riding jackets and flat, broad-rimmed hats.

Everyone was waiting.

Then at 10pm 1.2 million lights came on. It was spectacular.

The layout is a checkerboard pattern of streets. Along the side of each street were dozens of casetas (booths) featuring local restaurants, bars, and entertainment places. There was a lot of drinking and dancing with sherry being the prominent drink in Jerez. Ole!

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