Castillo De San Miguel -A Great ‘Knight’ out!

The ‘Castillo De San Miguel’ must be one of the most unique buildings in the Canaries -for where-else can one find an authentic-looking ‘Castle’ in this archipelago of Spanish islands? Once inside the grounds it is like disappearing into a time-warp, as one is immediately transported back a thousand years -to medieval times -and the days when the fabled ‘Knights of the Round Table’ ruled the land -and King Arthur’s Court was awash with feasting and merriment, as jesters and jugglers performed their various acts and antics -and ‘Merlin the Magician’ cast all kinds of spells -and mixed all sorts of potions in his ever-bubbling cauldron. I remember my mother being greeted by the king of the castle and saying how she felt like royalty as we walked together along the red carpet, before entering into the main auditorium.

My three children were also with us on this very exciting evening -and all five of us were now wearing our individual tabards -and carrying our identically coloured bibs, which would not-only determine the area we would be sitting in, but also the colour of the Knight we would be cheering-on to win the joust. After taking our seats on the benches surrounding the arena, four immaculately-dressed knights in gleaming armour, and adorning their individually coloured ribbons and headdresses, came galloping into the battle-ground on their trusty steeds -which were likewise attired in their masters colours. One-by-one the knights rode over to the Royal Box, in order to pay homage to their lords and ladies of the land, one of them extending his lance with his ribbon tied to the end of it, to Her Majesty the Queen, who promptly removed the ribbon, as an acceptance that he would be fighting in her honour.

As the knights lined up in jousting fashion, and the horses began to gallop along the track, the madding crowd (several hundred people I reckon) began cheering for all they were worth. Within seconds almighty ‘bangs’ -and clashes of steel rang-out through the auditorium, as the knights hit head-on in the centre of the field, two of them being discharged from their horses with the force of the collisions. However, the pair of them soon returned to their feet -and so the other two riders immediately dismounted their horses, in order to continue-on fighting to the death! By now the ecstatic crowd was busy slurping their individual bowls of soup -in-between biting-off lumps of their own personal chickens -and swigging-back glasses of ‘authentic mead’ -which, I must confess, tasted suspiciously like Spanish wine -but who cared?

And so the battles ensued, as a mixture of swords, shields, lances and maces, clashed and smashed together, until only one knight remained standing -much to the delight of his supporters, who were now giving the ‘thumbs-down’ signal for him to slay his fellow knights -but he was too valiant for that -and so he just accepted the cheers and raptures of applause as he remounted his horse, and after bowing to his noble peers, he trotted gently out of the stadium. (I hasten to add that not one of the horses were harmed whatsoever during this mock battle, as the split-second timing of everything had been practiced to perfection). As soon as the other knights had taken their deserved applause from the crowd and exited the stadium, everyone was lead into a huge ballroom, where, after being seated at our relative tables, the stage curtains slid gently apart -only to reveal one of the most endearing bands of all time -namely the ‘Drifters’ -who then spent the next two hours entertaining the guests in their own inimitable style. What better finish to a truly amazing evening could anyone ask for?