Lances at the Ready – A Day at the Andilly Medieval Fair: Part Two

…continued from Part One…

Getting Ready for the Joust

So.  The main reason I wanted to come to this fair was so I could see the joust.  I’ve always wanted to see jousting.  In fact, I enjoyed it so much I went to the two shows – which is why my photos are from a couple of angles.

Tightrope walker - without a harness, Les Grandes Médiévales, Andilly, France

Tightrope walker – without a harness, Les Grandes Médiévales, Andilly, France

Tightrope walker, Les Grandes Médiévales, Andilly, France.  Yes, he stayed steady even when the cannon started to go off.  Honestly, I would have asked for them not to coincide loud noises with my act, but he's a strong fellow.

Tightrope walker, Les Grandes Médiévales, Andilly, France.  Yes, he stayed steady even when the cannon started to go off.  Honestly, I would have asked for them not to coincide loud noises with my act, but he’s a strong fellow.

Ah, the Saracens have arrived to show off some of their skills, Les Grandes Médiévales, Andilly, France

Ah, the Saracens have arrived to show off some of their skills, Les Grandes Médiévales, Andilly, France

See that pretty golden balloon?  Les Grandes Médiévales, Andilly, France

See that pretty golden balloon?  Les Grandes Médiévales, Andilly, France

IMG_2766

And now the balloon has been popped – Les Grandes Médiévales, Andilly, France

IMG_2764

Kaboom!  Les Grandes Médiévales, Andilly, France

The lords and ladies all set to watch the proceedings, Les Grandes Médiévales, Andilly, France

The lords and ladies all set to watch the proceedings, Les Grandes Médiévales, Andilly, France

The master of ceremonies, on a truly beautiful horse, Les Grandes Médiévales, Andilly, France

The master of ceremonies, on a truly beautiful horse, Les Grandes Médiévales, Andilly, France

Now, the knights were all introduced, and we were told where they were knights of, but I don’t remember, so I’m just going to code them according to the colour of their clothes.

Oooh - the Red and White Knight!  Les Grandes Médiévales, Andilly, France

Oooh – the Red and White Knight!  Les Grandes Médiévales, Andilly, France

The Red and Yellow Knight, Les Grandes Médiévales, Andilly, France

The Red and Yellow Knight, Les Grandes Médiévales, Andilly, France

The Green and Red Knight, Les Grandes Médiévales, Andilly, France

The Green and Red Knight, Les Grandes Médiévales, Andilly, France

The Pretty Knight in Blue, Les Grandes Médiévales, Andilly, France

The Pretty Knight in Blue, Les Grandes Médiévales, Andilly, France

Saluting Pretty Knight in Blue (and his horse is grinning too), Les Grandes Médiévales, Andilly, France

Saluting Pretty Knight in Blue (and his horse is grinning too), Les Grandes Médiévales, Andilly, France

The Pretty Knight in Blue trotting along, Les Grandes Médiévales, Andilly, France

The Pretty Knight in Blue trotting along, Les Grandes Médiévales, Andilly, France

The Red and White Knight starts to move, Les Grandes Médiévales, Andilly, France

The Red and White Knight starts to move, Les Grandes Médiévales, Andilly, France

Two knights waiting for the joust to begin, Les Grandes Médiévales, Andilly, France

Two knights waiting for the joust to begin, Les Grandes Médiévales, Andilly, France

Red and Green and Red and Yellow clash!  Les Grandes Médiévales, Andilly, France

Red and Green and Red and Yellow clash!  Les Grandes Médiévales, Andilly, France

The Green and Red Knight trots away, Les Grandes Médiévales, Andilly, France

The Green and Red Knight trots away, Les Grandes Médiévales, Andilly, France

Oooh!  Here comes the Knight from Andilly!  Les Grandes Médiévales, Andilly, France

Oooh!  Here comes the Knight from Andilly!  Les Grandes Médiévales, Andilly, France

The Red and Yellow Knight is getting ready, Les Grandes Médiévales, Andilly, France

The Red and Yellow Knight is getting ready, Les Grandes Médiévales, Andilly, France

The Pretty Knight in Blue is given his flag, Les Grandes Médiévales, Andilly, France

The Pretty Knight in Blue is given his flag, Les Grandes Médiévales, Andilly, France

The Gloating Red and White Knight, Les Grandes Médiévales, Andilly, France

The Gloating Red and White Knight, Les Grandes Médiévales, Andilly, France

The Red and Yellow Knight has lost his lance - now he means business, Les Grandes Médiévales, Andilly, France

The Red and Yellow Knight has lost his lance – now he means business, Les Grandes Médiévales, Andilly, France

Fighting with swords, Les Grandes Médiévales, Andilly, France

Fighting with swords, Les Grandes Médiévales, Andilly, France

The Pretty Knight in Blue gets his lance ready, Les Grandes Médiévales, Andilly, France

The Pretty Knight in Blue gets his lance ready, Les Grandes Médiévales, Andilly, France

The Red and White Knight points damningly at some poor soul, Les Grandes Médiévales, Andilly, France

The Red and White Knight points damningly at some poor soul, Les Grandes Médiévales, Andilly, France

And here enters the awesomely sinister Black Knight, Les Grandes Médiévales, Andilly, France

And here enters the awesomely sinister Black Knight, Les Grandes Médiévales, Andilly, France

The Black Knight and his awesome beard, Les Grandes Médiévales, Andilly, France

The Black Knight and his awesome beard, Les Grandes Médiévales, Andilly, France

The Black Knight is being bigged-up by the lady, Les Grandes Médiévales, Andilly, France

The Black Knight is being bigged-up by the lady, Les Grandes Médiévales, Andilly, France

Miss!  Les Grandes Médiévales, Andilly, France

Miss!  Les Grandes Médiévales, Andilly, France

The Black Knight is victorious!  Les Grandes Médiévales, Andilly, France

The Black Knight is victorious!  Les Grandes Médiévales, Andilly, France

The Black Knight is still victorious and looking awesome, Les Grandes Médiévales, Andilly, France

The Black Knight is still victorious and looking awesome, Les Grandes Médiévales, Andilly, France

Go Black Knight!  Allez!  Les Grandes Médiévales, Andilly, France

Go Black Knight!  Allez!  Les Grandes Médiévales, Andilly, France

The Black Knight looks thoughtful (probably), Les Grandes Médiévales, Andilly, France

The Black Knight looks thoughtful (probably), Les Grandes Médiévales, Andilly, France

The Andilly Knight gets the applause from the crowd, Les Grandes Médiévales, Andilly, France

The Andilly Knight gets the applause from the crowd, Les Grandes Médiévales, Andilly, France

The Andilly Knight has (predictably) won the tournament - his prize appears to have been a little girl - Les Grandes Médiévales, Andilly, France

The Andilly Knight has (predictably) won the tournament – his prize appears to have been a little girl – Les Grandes Médiévales, Andilly, France

All the other knights are coming to rescue the girl...  Les Grandes Médiévales, Andilly, France

All the other knights are coming to rescue the girl…  Les Grandes Médiévales, Andilly, France

Oh, they're not - they're there to take a bow, Les Grandes Médiévales, Andilly, France

Oh, they’re not – they’re there to take a bow, Les Grandes Médiévales, Andilly, France

The Pretty Knight in Blue is bald????  Les Grandes Médiévales, Andilly, France

The Pretty Knight in Blue is bald????  Les Grandes Médiévales, Andilly, France

Lances in a row, Les Grandes Médiévales, Andilly, France

Lances in a row, Les Grandes Médiévales, Andilly, France

All that remains of the defeated knights, Les Grandes Médiévales, Andilly, France

All that remains of the defeated knights, Les Grandes Médiévales, Andilly, France

Everything Else

It was a very hot day when we went to Andilly, and as the afternoon progressed, the heat really got to me and so we didn’t go on as much of a walk-around as I’d intended.  Nevertheless, I felt that we really got a lot out of the day – we stood and listened to some lovely medieval songs sung in the chapel by La compagnie de la rose anglaise for probably about forty minutes, and also listened to a funky band later on who were playing a fabulous medieval/middle eastern-vibed series of songs.

Quite honestly by the afternoon, everywhere you turn, there’s stuff going on.  If you speak French, then you can get far more actively involved in what’s being demonstrated or shown by some of the craftsmen.

Farming folk, Les Grandes Médiévales, Andilly, France

Farming folk, Les Grandes Médiévales, Andilly, France

One of the many food and drink huts, Les Grandes Médiévales, Andilly, France

One of the many food and drink huts, Les Grandes Médiévales, Andilly, France

It's always nice to see owls, Les Grandes Médiévales, Andilly, France

It’s always nice to see owls, Les Grandes Médiévales, Andilly, France

The most terrifying bird I have ever seen (no, not the one at the front - the one at the back that looks like a statue) - the Condor!  Les Grandes Médiévales, Andilly, France

The most terrifying bird I have ever seen (no, not the one at the front – the one at the back that looks like a statue) – the Condor!  Les Grandes Médiévales, Andilly, France

The vulture that thinks it's Fester, Les Grandes Médiévales, Andilly, France

The vulture that thinks it’s Fester, Les Grandes Médiévales, Andilly, France

Lady entering tent, Les Grandes Médiévales, Andilly, France

Lady entering tent, Les Grandes Médiévales, Andilly, France

Arrows to the ready, Les Grandes Médiévales, Andilly, France

Arrows to the ready, Les Grandes Médiévales, Andilly, France

Tired and war-weary, Les Grandes Médiévales, Andilly, France

Tired and war-weary, Les Grandes Médiévales, Andilly, France

A scene from a painting, Les Grandes Médiévales, Andilly, France

A scene from a painting, Les Grandes Médiévales, Andilly, France

Soldiers going home, Les Grandes Médiévales, Andilly, France

Soldiers going home, Les Grandes Médiévales, Andilly, France

Fooderies in the trees, Les Grandes Médiévales, Andilly, France

Fooderies in the trees, Les Grandes Médiévales, Andilly, France

Utterly gratuitous ducklings picture - awww they were so cute!!  Les Grandes Médiévales, Andilly, France

Utterly gratuitous ducklings picture – awww they were so cute!!  Les Grandes Médiévales, Andilly, France

A leather craftsman, Les Grandes Médiévales, Andilly, France

A leather craftsman, Les Grandes Médiévales, Andilly, France

Pummelling something, Les Grandes Médiévales, Andilly, France

Pummelling something, Les Grandes Médiévales, Andilly, France

A young blacksmith's apprentice, Les Grandes Médiévales, Andilly, France

A young blacksmith’s apprentice, Les Grandes Médiévales, Andilly, France

Intergenerational learning, Les Grandes Médiévales, Andilly, France

Intergenerational learning, Les Grandes Médiévales, Andilly, France

Cutely picturesque, Les Grandes Médiévales, Andilly, France

Cutely picturesque, Les Grandes Médiévales, Andilly, France

Little cap in the straw, Les Grandes Médiévales, Andilly, France

Little cap in the straw, Les Grandes Médiévales, Andilly, France

Two children working in the straw, Les Grandes Médiévales, Andilly, France

Two children working in the straw, Les Grandes Médiévales, Andilly, France

A kid going towards a full udder, Les Grandes Médiévales, Andilly, France

A kid going towards a full udder, Les Grandes Médiévales, Andilly, France

The llama's five-step-chew, Les Grandes Médiévales, Andilly, France

The llama’s five-step-chew, Les Grandes Médiévales, Andilly, France

A strange white peacock, Les Grandes Médiévales, Andilly, France

A strange white peacock, Les Grandes Médiévales, Andilly, France

Lady making and teaching others how to make pots, Les Grandes Médiévales, Andilly, France

Lady making and teaching others how to make pots, Les Grandes Médiévales, Andilly, France

A random group that went past us, Les Grandes Médiévales, Andilly, France

A random group that went past us, Les Grandes Médiévales, Andilly, France

Blacksmith, Les Grandes Médiévales, Andilly, France

Blacksmith, Les Grandes Médiévales, Andilly, France

A little chapel on the hill, Les Grandes Médiévales, Andilly, France

A little chapel on the hill, Les Grandes Médiévales, Andilly, France

A concert by La compagnie de la rose anglaise, Les Grandes Médiévales, Andilly, France

A concert by La compagnie de la rose anglaise, Les Grandes Médiévales, Andilly, France

A view over the jollities, Les Grandes Médiévales, Andilly, France

A view over the jollities, Les Grandes Médiévales, Andilly, France

It's like a opening credits from Little House on the Prairie!  Les Grandes Médiévales, Andilly, France

It’s like a opening credits from Little House on the Prairie!  Les Grandes Médiévales, Andilly, France

A view of the tents from the fringes of the event, Les Grandes Médiévales, Andilly, France

A view of the tents from the fringes of the event, Les Grandes Médiévales, Andilly, France

An unexpected patch of nature in the middle of Les Grandes Médiévales, Andilly, France

An unexpected patch of nature in the middle of Les Grandes Médiévales, Andilly, France

Tops of tents, Les Grandes Médiévales, Andilly, France

Tops of tents, Les Grandes Médiévales, Andilly, France

A medieval scene, Les Grandes Médiévales, Andilly, France

A medieval scene, Les Grandes Médiévales, Andilly, France

Dude doing something with a knife, Les Grandes Médiévales, Andilly, France

Dude doing something with a knife, Les Grandes Médiévales, Andilly, France

A fooderie, Les Grandes Médiévales, Andilly, France

A fooderie, Les Grandes Médiévales, Andilly, France

Cute little garden area, Les Grandes Médiévales, Andilly, France

Cute little garden area, Les Grandes Médiévales, Andilly, France

And on the way out, we were followed by sheep - as you do - Les Grandes Médiévales, Andilly, France

And on the way out, we were followed by sheep – as you do – Les Grandes Médiévales, Andilly, France

So In Summary

I had such a great time at Andilly.  I’m so pleased that we got there for opening time, because it was quieter to stroll around then as compared to the afternoon, when it was packed.  There was so much on offer, I think most people could get something from the event, no matter how interested they are in the Middle Ages – if you’re more into eating and drinking, there were loads of interesting options, and if you’re into learning about how craftsmen make chain-mail, for example, you can do that, too.  There was a very relaxed atmosphere which also helped make the day so pleasant…

Further Information

There is an entry charge to get into Les Grandes Médiévales, which means that all the events and animations are free.  However, do bring a picnic, because the food is quite expensive, and, at lunch-time, very busy, so if you have children, you’re probably better off coming prepared.

The drinks – and you can get anything from water to a yummy Hippocras wine – are served in plastic cups for which there is a deposit – you can either return it and get your money back or keep the cup and reuse.  My cup has already been used to contain cider on a hot afternoon at home – which took me back to the very refreshing cup of cider I got at 10.30 in the morning at Les Grandes Médiévales.

All the information about the event for 2018 is available here – I assume that closer to May 2019 that new information will be added: www.lepetitpays.com

One word of warning: there are only natural toilets around the site.  They are perfectly clean, only they didn’t have soap to wash your hands, so take hand sanitiser!

The natural toilets, Les Grandes Médiévales, Andilly, France

The natural toilets, Les Grandes Médiévales, Andilly, France

As I’ve mentioned throughout, the event is super-kid-friendly and would be a joy for those children who are already interested in knights and castles.  There are so many events that they can do, and they can be introduced to so many new things.  It was a wonderful learning environment because it was naturally immersive.  It’s the sort of thing that you can imagine a young child going to and then when they’re older they’ll ask their parents if they’d really seen jousting, or was it a false memory?

Unbelievably cute impromptu clash in Les Grandes Médiévales, Andilly, France

Unbelievably cute impromptu clash in Les Grandes Médiévales, Andilly, France

Some of the most heart-warming images for me, as a Montessori teacher, was seeing that many of the extremely popular activities that children were engaged in were not the sorts of things that most adults would think would be appropriate.  Take this amazing activity here:

What's this?  Little houses?  Les Grandes Médiévales, Andilly, France

What’s this?  Little houses?  Les Grandes Médiévales, Andilly, France

Ah I see - child labour is being used to build a cob house!!!  Les Grandes Médiévales, Andilly, France

Ah I see – child labour is being used to build a cob house!!!  Les Grandes Médiévales, Andilly, France

An exceedingly popular event is building cob houses!  Les Grandes Médiévales, Andilly, France

An exceedingly popular event is building cob houses!  Les Grandes Médiévales, Andilly, France

Now, when I have my own Montessori school, I’m totally going to have a cob house building activity in the gardens.  You can see the concentration on the face of the boy at work and it was actually beautiful to watch all these little children watching the man who was teaching them how to make the plaster-mixture, and then copying him.

But slave labour wasn’t the only popular activity: there were loads of presentations and events and workshops aimed at children (French only, I assume) and there was an area children could run around in with little games and such to entertain them.  And there was apparently a chance to become a knight!  Honestly, there was so much, it’s impossible to mention it all, so check out the website and see for yourself!

Children making things out of twigs, Les Grandes Médiévales, Andilly, France

Children making things out of twigs, Les Grandes Médiévales, Andilly, France

Climbing through the trees at Les Grandes Médiévales, Andilly, France

Climbing through the trees at Les Grandes Médiévales, Andilly, France

How To Get There

Getting to Andilly is tricky if you don’t have a car.  If you are based Geneva way, then there is only the one bus which goes to Annecy and stops at Andilly on the way.  The bus is best caught from Geneva Airport, and you must buy your tickets from the Information Office inside the Airport – you can’t buy the tickets on the bus unless you catch it en-route – and then you should make sure you have exact-ish money, because I saw some people have problems with breaking a large note.

Also, the buses aren’t very frequent, so be sure to check the timetable and make sure you get to the stop with plenty of time to spare.

Also, contrary to what it says on Les Grandes Médiévales website, the buses aren’t run by Frossard, they are run by Transalis, and it’s the T72 bus: information can be found in English here: www.transdevhautesavoie.com

SaveSave

SaveSaveSaveSave

SaveSave

No Comments

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: