"Those who have experienced Paris have advantage over those who have not. We are the ones who have glimpsed a little bit of heaven, down here on earth." - Deirdre Kelly

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Canterbury Road (for the love of travel)

"Are you going to Scarborough Fair?
Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme.
Remember me to one who lives there.
She was once a true love of mine."
- Simon & Garfunkel (1968)

Usually, I write about my time traveling from a historical fantastical place - sustained continued exposure to Paris does that to a historian. But every once and awhile my T.A.R.D.I.S. (in this case Mr. Gorgeous' SUV) actually manages to take me back in time. This fall we piled the kids, mom and Coco into the car and took a roadtrip to visit family in Minnesota. Well aware of my historical and Time Lady endeavors, my cousin arranged for us to visit their local Medeival Fair. I've always wanted to go - but I had no idea...

It was a crisp very cool day - but pretty warm in the sun (thank the Viking gods!). We arrived in the late afternoon and I didn't know what to expect. See the treeline (in the back of the above photo)? That was the very backend of the parking lot (which was actually an enormous field). We parked about 1/3rd of the way up and, as far as the eye could see were literally thousands of cars. As we walked down main the dirt road, I soon realized that the Fair actually started there. It seemed like, at every other car, were people putting on costumes - leggings, chain mail, helmets, swords, gypsy skirts and corsets - okay...um wow.

After we got our entry tickets, we had to get into the 'pets line' (I kid you not). I had to fill out paper work and register Coco's tag number in order to enter. And there were at least 50 other people in line behind us - with dogs of every size and breed, cool! We stepped through a little archway and when we came out the other side, this was the first thing I saw - a group of Elizabethan singers. 

Feast of Fantsay indeed!
It was a village; complete with buildings, roads and lanes that housed: shops, pubs, leather makers, sword makers (where you could also pick up a suit of armor or chain mail), a smithy, restaurants, herbalists and apocotharies, pottery shops, and on and on - We had stepped into a painstakingly re-created Medieval village - fantabulous! Here is a sampling of the amazing things and people I saw...
Yeah you know that I quickly found where the wine lives!




This was the first time that I actually felt like I had traveled  back in time. But here's the thing, my visit to Canterbury Road made me realize that to be a historian is to beTime Lady (or Time Lord) from Gallifrey. For a few too short hours, I lived the historian's penultimate dream - to wander a three dimensional Technicolor past with a camera! There's an even larger medieval fair not too far from my home (the Bristol Renaissance Fair). I can't wait to explore it next summer...
Vivre! Rire! Aimer!

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