Xalonia Weekend

Spain is one of those European countries where languages get mixed up. Here, it’s a little like driving into Wales and suddenly being faced with a mixture of road signs in Welsh as well as English. I’m not a fan of this practice, largely because I can’t read twice as much fast enough. 😀 Driving through Belgium is even worse with three languages getting mixed up. Personal difficulties aside, the two languages sharing this part of the world, the names of which seem to get confusing as well, are what we foreigners regard as Spanish (which I think is Castilian) and Valencian (which I think is also more often called Catalan, depending on precisely where you are). Hmm. Anyway, the point of all this is that, Jalón is called Xaló in Valencian.

_MG_5915 Food alley_MG_5930 Jalon squareThis weekend, Jalón was hosting a local festival called Xalónia which, if I haven’t completely confused the issue, you will now understand. We took our little charge, el perrito, down into town on his lead for a quick look. Being relatively early (~10:00 AM) for the Spanish, things were just getting set up. The main square was already looking delightfully agricultural – it seemed rather like a large farmer’s market – and another street was filled with food vendors preparing for an influx of punters later. We were happy that a sunshade was necessary along the entire street. Things would hot up later. In true Spanish style, the music was due to start at 10:30 PM and go on most of the night.

_MG_5916 Rastro_MG_5921 RastroCurrently, however, the future Xalónia punters were more distracted by the regular Jalón Saturday morning event of the rastro, which is a flea market of countless stalls set up along the southern bank of the Jalón river. It’s a colourful affair but a tad busy for the likes of us, being difficult to keep poor old el perrito on his lead out from under the clod-hopping feet of the aforementioned punters, all of whose concentration is focused elsewhere – on the fleas.

J01_2470 Geranium BronzeBack at home, I was pleased that, at long last, the sunshine brought a butterfly visitor to the house garden. I’d suffered the additional weight of my macro lens on this trip hoping that this little chap, which we first spotted last year, would once again put in an appearance. This species is attracted to the pots of Geraniums that Yvonne keeps on the steps of the naya. Being a Geranium Bronze (Cacyreus marshalli), that would seem like a natural enough habitat. A little irritatingly, this character insisted on resting with it’s wings half open and half closed so that neither side was well presented and caused all sorts of depth of field problems. Still, it’s quite a pleasant shot.

Posted in 2013 Spain

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