Alcala de Henares


As soon as I arrived in the centre of the old university town of Alcalá de Henares, my heart skipped a beat, my knees went wobbly and I felt like fainting (with desire). I was surrounded by policemen. Spanish policemen.
Spanish policemen are a whole different breed of civil servant compared to their pale English cousins. They’re often tanned, slightly bearded, and clad in the kind of uniform that makes even the most cold hearted girls swoon. They also have pert bottoms (ladies who’ve visited Spain, don’t deny it, you’ve had a peek). Obviously you get the odd beer-bellied bloke with a grey tangle of nose hair but I’d say over half the policeman I saw there floated my boat rather nicely. In fact, it almost made me want to commit a crime just so they would arrest me…
Anyway enough of the raunchy rant.
The reason for all the Policia that day was to control the traffic during the big, week long Cervantes festival celebrating the life and literature of Cervantes in his birth town. There were hundreds of stalls selling sticky glazed apple tarts, cream pies, donuts, sweets, chorizo, jewelry, candles, scarves, books, soap, herbs, tea, spices, freshly baked bread, pastries and I can’t list anymore or I may pop. As I mooched around, a cheeky looking chap behind the chorizo stall offered me a large chunk of chorizo to try. I took it from him greedily and started munching, wincing slightly at the slightly pungent poo-like smell.
“Perdona?” I asked politely, “What type of chorizo is this?”
“Donkey chorizo” he replied cheerfully.
Unfortunately I was half way through swallowing the gristly lump when he told me and I don’t think he was very impressed at my sudden choking fit.
The next food stall I came across sold a wide variety of cheeses from Galicia in Northern Spain. There was a particular section of the stall that displayed breast shaped cheeses. Yep. Breast shaped (booby, jugs, boobs, tits, twinnies). I asked the Cheese seller what these particular works of art were called and he replied, with a little smirk, that they were in fact called “Tetas” cheeses which translates in to “Titties”. I tried some of this renowned Tittie-cheese, made from cow’s milk, and found it to be soft and creamy with a slight cow-pat twang. When I asked the man if there were any particularly tasty “Tetas” in Galicia he reassured me, with a wink, that every single “Teta” is “riquísima” (delicious). I made a quick get away from the Tit Tienda and comforted myself with a deep-fried donut.
As I walked down a side street I came across a handsome man in medieval attire, followed by a honking gaggle of geese. There were about thirty or forty of them waddling along behind their master. As I stopped to take a photo the goose man ground to a halt, and his geese followed suit. As soon as he told them to walk on, they did as they were told. It was honking mad. They were probably the most well behaved geese I’d ever encountered.
If that wasn’t enough to shock a simple English girl like me, as I turned the corner I bumped in to a group of grunting camels on display (yes, camels), looking down at their human owners disdainfully. This proved too much for my fragile mind having seen even more dishy policemen strolling about, so I made my way back to the safety of a nearby ice-cream kiosk and waited for the next bus back to Madrid.



S Imeson

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