Saturday 28th April (evening)
We returned to Astorga and booked into the Gaudi hotel in the main square facing the cathedral and the architect's saccharin Episcopal Palace. It's the last night of carnival so after a brief rest we headed out to see the celebrations. The idea of fiesta is intrinsic to the Spanish mind and I love the democracy of the party, the eclecticism of theme and the acceptance of all from the very young to the very old.
Chris suggested that kids in Spain are empowered from a very young age by the organisation of their contribution to the communal event. Booking space to rehearse, designing costume, bringing their ideas forward and seeing them through. It's something that we miss in the UK - increasingly it seems we regulate creativity rather than allowing space for it to breathe. Demanding that imaginative ideas are given permission before they can be acted on is very dangerous, very dull and ultimately leads to narrow formulas of what is acceptable and what is not.
In the main square a loud party was going on. A Pharaoh shared a bottle with a mouse. A tribe of Cupids posed for a photograph taken by a drunken dinosaur. Sheiks, rabbits, robots, a walking shower, Elvis, witches and many, many roman soldiers all dancing and singing to the stars. We stayed drinking wine and laughing at the wonderful life of it all until 1am, when a wave of tiredness swept through and floated us gently back to the hotel.