zum Oktoberfest !!! (and the city)
13.09.2009 31 °C
A friend of mine suggested last week to go the Oktoberfest in Alcalá. And my first reaction was just like yours when you read Oktoberfest a few seconds ago. An Oktoberfest in Spain sounds weird, so a must-see for me. As I still hadn't seen the place it was good to also have the possibility to see the town, and than go to have a party. We decided to meet up at 13.00 at the station in Alcalá. To reach Alcalá you can take several trains (cercanias lines C-2 and C-7) and from Atocha it only takes 35 minutes to get there.
The girlfriend of my friend studied in Alcalá years ago. So she was the guide for the day. Showing us the beautiful Plaza de Cervantas, before heading to the famous University of Alcalá. One of the oldest in the country (although not strictly as the present one was founded in 1977, but the predecessor which moved to Madrid, was founded in 1496. The building is beautiful, and we could only have a short look inside, as the building was closed for a wedding.
After that we walked to other parts of the center, seeing some beautiful squares, houses and the church (were again a wedding was taking place.) On the roofs of the town, there were a lot of empty nest, which in a few months time will be housed by hundreds of storks. It seems the place is a bit famous for that as well. But you see the same in many towns in Spain.
One of the other things Alcalá is famous for are the huge tapas. Normally you have to do with a slice of bread with a slice of Chorizo, or something like that, but in Alcalá they are serving Hamburgers, Hot Dogs and complete Bocadillas as Tapas. So with two drinks, we also had out lunch. From the bar we walked through the Calle Major, which is special because of the arches of both sides of the street, and also because of the birthplace of Cervantas (the writer of Don Quichote.) On the street we also discovered a beautiful courtyard of an old hospital.
After a walk which almost took us back to the station, and beyond to the Plaza de Toros, we arrived at the scene of the Oktoberfest. It was held inside the bullfighting ring, making it already a pretty cross-over between Germany and Spain. There were not too many people, but we were arrive early I guess around 16.30, which is way too early for Spanish people. After a look at the menu, my friends went for the 1 litre jar of beer, and as a non-beer drinker I decided on the whisky-coke. But as you also get hungry, and the menu promised German sausages it was not long before we made the trip to the barbecue, for some genuine Thüringer weiss-wurst. a trip we would repeat once more, and declinded later in the evening, as it was too crowded by than.
The one thing I had feared most was the music. Let's put it this way: German folk music is not my cup of tea. But I was lucky, as the bands turned out to be 'normal rock (and roll) bands. At 22.30 we called it a day, as we needed to take the last train to get home.
Oktoberfest in Alcalá: two thumbs up.