It’s been a while since I came back to Australia and officially put my travel blogging on hold. However once in a while, I get to enjoy some pretty neat things in my home country, and with my recent move from the Northern Territory to Queensland, I’m getting to enjoy lots of new things.
SO I thought it might be cool to reignite The Wandering Writer once in a while, starting now.
The Joust of Things
This past weekend on Sunday the 9th of July, I had the amazing experience of visiting the Abbey Medieval Festival. I’ve always wanted the chance to go and see a medieval festival and it was such a treat to be able to go with two of my cousins.
I’m especially grateful to Hans Electrical Service here on Bribe Island who, as sponsors of the event, kindly gave me a free ticket.
We arrived at the festival at around 10.15am and ended up staying until around 3.30pm, there were so many amazing things to see. As soon as we got in we bought tickets for a joust and headed to the jousting arena. It was thrilling to watch the jousters clash and I got some fantastic photos on my camera. There were plenty of jousts on that day but we only watched the one round, which with four competitors was still a lot of jousting.
My cousin and I especially found humour in the fact that one of the horses was named Roberto, as I have an Uncle Robert who we often call Roberto.
Questing for culture
After the jousting, we went exploring to try and see all the different encampments.
There were many cultures on display at the festival, far more than what I was expecting.
There were Vikings, Knights Templar, Shuvani Gypsies, Turkish barracks and the Knights of Knud whose focus was on Denmark.
In each encampment there were re-enactors who would be tending fires or doing some form of craftsmanship, at the Gypsy camp there was fortune telling and over in the Viking encampment you could have your runes read.
It was fascinating to talk to the re-enactors and hear about a number of topics from removing arrowheads to creating leather purses. There were tonnes of activities listed in the festival program which we missed or didn’t end up going to but still we had an excellent time walking around and enjoying the sights.
Food for Thought
Early on in our adventuring, we decided to get a drink, so of course, we stopped in at one of the taverns.
To our delight, there was a group of minstrels performing on stage and we got to enjoy some unique music before heading back out into the festival to explore.
It wasn’t till much later in the day that our exploration brought us to an area filled with food stalls. Quite a few were medieval themed.
We split up to get our own foods. My cousin Jonathon had beef and ale stew and my cousin Ellie got a pulled pork crepe. I went forth wanting a pretzel but was foiled when the pretzel stand ran out of plain, salted pretzels… so I settled for some doughnuts at another stall.
We were really spoiled for choice on the food front, though the lines were quite lengthy. Even just before returning to exploring when Jono and I decided we wanted a coffee there were multiple options.
Men Hugging Each other Enthusiastically
After we’d eaten there were only two things we wanted to see before leaving – Turkish Oil Wrestling and The Making of Mead.
So in accordance with the festival program, we headed over to the Turkish Encampment to watch the oil wrestling (or as one of the wrestlers put it: grown men covering themselves in oil and hugging each other enthusiastically). It was highly enjoyable to watch… and not just because it involved shirtless men.
During the wrestling matches, I was happy to get a lot of really good action shots.
You’ve got to Finish with Mead
To finish the day we went to a workshop on making mead. We didn’t get to try any but it was definitely enjoyable to hear all about the process of making mead.
The reenactor delivering the workshop was extremely charismatic and had delightful stories to go with each bottle of mead he’d made. It even made me consider the idea of making my own mead… but I don’t think I will.
After that we were ready to leave, my feet were sore and we were all feeling a little tired. So we did just a quick browse of the stores, which we purposefully left till last, before heading out.
I honestly cannot recommend this festival highly enough. If you’re in the area next year be sure to put this in you diary. I am definitely going back next year.