Located about 40 minutes outside of the city of Córdoba is the breathtakingly beautiful “Castillo de Almodóvar”. Like every grand castle, “Castillo de Almodóvar” has it´s own legend…the legend of Princess Ziada.
According to the legend of Zaida -“La Encantá”, every year, on the 28th of March, the spirit of this princess can be seen wandering through the grounds of this spectacular castle in search of her beloved prince Al Mamum, who was killed on that very day fighting against los almorávides in the Alcázar de Córdoba.
For the third year running, in commemoration of that day, Almodóvar del Río held a Medieval Market on the grounds of the castle. Here you could soak up the medieval atmosphere while wandering through the stalls filled with arts and crafts, bows and arrows, wooden shields, herbs and spices, traditional tea, Arabic food and traditional breads and cheeses. There were marching bands, belly dancers, face-painters and concerts to marvel at and later that night there was a re-enactment of the legend of Ziada, unfortunately, due to transport problems, I didn´t get a chance to see it.
The atmosphere was fun-loving and lively with everyone in high spirits and keen to make the event as successful as possible. It was a good event, while the “Zoco” itself was not as big or as varied as others I have been lucky enough to attend, the location, the people and the atmosphere made up for it!
The only snag on the day was the transport. As Almodóvar del Río is a small rural area, they have a limited bus service. We got the bus there at 13:30 on Saturday 21st of April, the bus journey was quick and pleasant. It even dropped us right at the entrance of the castle grounds. However, it was when it was time to come home that the lack of a transport service became a problem.
We arrived at the bus stop at 18:55, giving us plenty of time to catch the next bus at 19:10. However, come 19:40, and still no sign of a bus, we became slightly concerned. We decided to ring the bus company, their number was on the timetable, only to be told that they had no record of a bus at that time for our route. Sadly that wasn´t the only bad news they had for us, they then went on to tell us that the last bus back to Córdoba had been at 17:45.
At a lost for an affordable solution we decided to go to the information booth at the entrance of the Zoco and tell them our problem. They were incredibly sympathic and helpful and gave us a number for a taxi service, explaining that at this time on a Saturday it was our only option. Two friendly policemen were beside the information stand while we were there and became aware of our situation, they rang the taxi service for us and negotiated a deal in order for ten stranded foreigners to return to Córdoba!
All in all it was a fantastic day, the event was fun, the people were fantastic and we got to see the spectacular castle, which I talk about in another blog(just click on another blog to read!), on a wonderfully sunny day. I would definitely recommend a trip to Almodóvar del Río to anyone who loves beautiful scenery, medieval settings and re-enactments all wrapped up in a friendly package. Just make sure to check the bus times at the station before you venture on your journey!
Hope you enjoyed reading about my experience!
Have you ever been to Almodóvar del Río? What was your experience like?