Sometimes luck goes our way...sometimes not. You'd think we'd be a bit more careful catching the right bus after the last episode...
We were directed to the bus stop but not actually told that we need to catch the no 4. So when a no 5 came along headed towards the city we hopped on. All went well until at the last minute outside the city walls the bus veered away down a long, long hill. Bus stops, we have noticed, are few and far between, and it was a very long walk back up the hill.
But when we did get to the top we were pleasantly surprised to see lots of people dressed in a variety of national costumes with many carrying parcels of food of one type or another. In the square under the 3 tiered Roman aqueduct, hundreds of people, mostly women and children but some men too, were gathering together. Music started and a long procession began through the streets of the old town towards the Cathedral. It was the procession of offerings for the Hay Festival of Segovia. Chefs carried a suckling pig all dressed with fresh vegetables, women carried fancy loaves of bread, others carried baskets of meats or fruits or vegetables. And two bands played the whole journey with drums and wind instruments that looked like a cross between a recorder and a small clarinet but sounded thin and reedy like an oboe. At the musicians' sides were leather tubes attached to their belts which were the instrument cases. At the very end of the long procession was a donkey with baskets also laden with vegetables.
Once everyone was crowded into the cathedral, the service began with dignitaries seated in the best places. Each group of people, each with their own distinctive costume presented their offerings and laid them around the altar.
It was obviously going to continue for many hours into the evening so we headed off to visit the Alcazar, set on a high hill at the end of the old town. This is a fortress rebuilt in the 18th century after the old one burnt down (question: how does something built mostly of stone burn down?). Interesting enough, though lacking the patina of age to make it truly evocative of other times and worlds.
Along with everyone else pouring out of the Cathedral, it was time for sustenance. We found a bar halfway down some steps in a side street and asked about some food. Ah no, the chef doesn't arrive till 8.30 we were told. Another consequence of the siesta lasting till about 4pm - lunch is generally around 3, so no-one eats till 8pm at the very earliest! But we managed to while away the time with a bottle of local red watching the passing parade until we were fed.
We caught the right bus back.