By Rose Maramba
You simply have to be there! What’s the use of coming to Madrid if you don’t snatch the chance to experience the country’s star writer of all time and the world’s first novelist ever? We’re talking about Miguel de Cervantes here ( b. 29 September 1547, Alcalá de Henares; d. 22 April 1616, Madrid).
Now, to commemorate his 400th death anniversary – incidentally, his death coincided with that of his “colleague” across the Atlantic, William Shakespeare, who passed on the day after: 23 April 1616, Stratford-upon-Avon, England – there’s going to be a Mercado Cervantino. Literally Cervantine Market.
It’s really a themed outdoor mercado . A toast to the life of Miguel The Man of La Mancha Cervantes. It’s your unique opportunity to get to know, through the Alcalainos, the guy who gave the world Don Quixote. There’ll be artisanal wares and grub. And shows. A parade, for one, of Don Quixote and Sancho Panza and their entourage of characters from the world’s first full-length novel as well as other characters from the Spain’s Siglo de Oro (Golden Age).
Alcala de Henares enchants. It will grab you and whisk you off to the world of the Spanish Golden Age. Roughly from the 15th to to 17th century . Churches, convents, university. Even gastronomy! Declared by UNESCO a World Heritage Site. Great during the Mercado Cervantino. But the enchantment also works before and after.
Weather for the duration of the Mercado Cervantino: Warm, sunny. But check out with the weather bureau AEMET just the same: http://www.aemet.es/en/eltiempo/prediccion/espana
Distance Madrid-Alcala: some 40 km. (Madrid city and the town of Alcala de Henares are located in the Comunidad Autonoma de Madrid.)
Travel time: depends on transport. By train and car, approx 30 min. Approx 40 min by bus.
How to get there from Madrid city:
Take Highway A-2 or the toll road R 2. On A-2, in the direction of Zaragoza, exit 23 to Alcala de Henares (West).
RENFE: Lines C-2 or C-7. Get on at Stations Atocha, Chamartín, Nuevos Ministerios , Recoletos or Príncipe Pío. Every 10 minutes.
Autobuses Interurbanos Alsa Madrid-Alcala de Henares
Line 223-Madrid (Avda. de América)-Alcalá de Henares (Vía Complutense)
Line 227-Madrid (Avda. de América)-Alcalá de Henares (Espartales-Universidad).
Line 229-Madrid (Avda. de América)-Alcalá de Henares (Virgen del Val).
N202-Madrid (Avda. de Amércia)-Alcalá de Henares (Night Bus)
Video: 2015 Mercado Cervantino parade
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