When we were driving from Seville to Cordoba and were getting so dehydrated that the cypresses on the road started to look like tempting bottles of water, we decided to make a stop in Carmona. After a resuscitative fresh carrot-orange juice and some delicious savoury buckwheat pancakes at La Crêperie (a place we ran into out of the blue but which, according to TripAdvisor, is the number one food place in Carmona), we noticed a woman pushing a stroller. Nothing unusual except for the fact that both the woman and her toddler were wearing brightly coloured flamenco-style dresses. As we continued our walk, more and more women in comparable outfit aroused our curiosity. They all seemed to be streaming in the same direction. All we had to do was to follow them…
We arrived at a fair which could quite convincingly have functioned as a film set for a Zorro adventure. The blowing sand and blazing sun, the wooden stalls, the saloon-resembling drinking establishments, the long-skirted women and wide-brim hatted men, the horses… I think this is as close as you can come to the Far West in Europe. Only the cowboy hats, lassos and guns were lacking. Apparently the Feria de Carmona, which entertains visitors with horse parades, competitions, music, food and so on, dates back to 1466, when King Enrique (Henry) IV of Castilla granted the city the privilege to hold a cattle fair.
Look at the pictures. What an outburst of colours, beauty, pride and merrymaking. And all women wearing their “trajes de flamenca” and a glorious flower in their hair. Impossible to resist the charm of the feria.
Refuelled with a more than adequate amount of liquid, food, vitamin D and colour, we strolled back to our car feeling ready for the rest of our drive to Cordoba. The lesson to be drawn from our stopover in Carmona is that the shortest way to one’s destination is not always the best. Detours sometimes reveal the hidden glory and beauty of places too easily passed by on a hasty trip.
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