Medieval on your ass
This post has been sitting in my brain for a while now, but I've never gotten around to actually writing it. However, in the interest of motivating myself to actually do it, I'm going to keep it short. A few weekends back we travelled to Sedan in the north-east of France, close to Belgium. Sedan's famous for having a bloody big castle as well as a bloody big battle during WWI. While we were there it was also the site of a Medieval festival, which is like crack to me.
Staying in the castle is pretty cool, though the rooms are modernised to cater to n00bs or something. You can explore the castle at night with torches, which is awesome (or would be if I had've done it). Outside, there was all the different people doing things that no doubt happened during the middle ages. I'm not really sure if they were paid or anything, but why would you need to be paid to walk around with a sword all day? Some of the cool (at least to me) things that were going on:
- All the people that were re-enacting were staying outside the castle in proper old-style tents.
- This meant cooking everything old style - i.e. hanging a pig/rabbit/generic animal over a fire.
- There were lots of examples of proper weapons and armour on sale, all of which were oh so very expensive. Helmet? €200. Breastplate? Don't go there.
- There were lots of musicians and travelling performers, which adds to a really nice atmosphere.
- Either everything I know about holding a shield is wrong, or they just suck at fighting.
- Vultures have very sharp talons.
- Drinking horns really smell until you wash them.
Also, I'm going to do a shameless plug here to Anne Robillard, the author of the Chevalier d'Emeraude series. She was at the festive, signed her book for me, and was well up for taking photos. She had her own possé of Canadian girls dressed up, which, on the whole, was pas mal aussi.
On a related note, I also found out about a castle, called Guédelon, that's currently being actually built using old style medieval techniques.