Monday, June 16, 2014

Castles of Luxembourg: Useldange

One thing we've learned since living in Europe is that where there are castles, there are medieval festivals.  Because, why not?  If you've got a castle, you might as well make good use of it.

We decided to attend our very first medieval fest in Useldange this weekend, after hearing and reading that it's one of the better ones around.  


Useldange is about 30 minutes from the city
Although visiting this castle is free on a normal day, the festival was 5 Euros for adults, or 2 Euros if you came dressed in medieval attire.  (I'll let you guess how much we paid).

First, we climbed the castle keep, because we like climbing towers.

view from the top
Displays along the staircase had audio commentary in English, but we breezed on by, anxious to explore the festival below.
looks busy!
So, the festival.  I think we were expecting something a bit different, a bit more interactive, with perhaps a variety of simple crafts and activities for kids.  There were indeed a couple activities for the kids to try - working with leather, blacksmithing - but the attendants were busy, grouchy and frustrated, constantly stoping everyone to tell them they were doing it wrong.  There were a few games to play, but 1-3 Euros for 10-20 seconds of game seemed a bit steep.

We concluded that you are the medieval festival's target audience if you 1) have a general fetish for all things medieval 2) like dressing up in medieval-wear or looking at people sitting around dressed in medieval-wear
This is the guy from the ad posters.  I'm still not sure what he's doing or why he's doing it.
this blacksmith was pretty cool
3) are in the market for some nice wooden toys (love wooden toys, just not in the market for any at the moment)...

5) came to eat lunch and listen to medieval-ish instruments

or 6) wanted to spend a lot of money.  I suppose you could think of the festival as "living museum" of sorts, except that for a living museum the proportion of stands with people selling things seemed entirely too large.  Instead of just selling medieval headdresses and crowns and weapons, why not give people the opportunity to make a simple version of their own, even for a small fee?

Anyway, by now you're probably thinking, "Well then, Miss Complainy-Pants, why don't you just make your own medieval festival and see how hard it is?"  But really, it was fine.  It was just a learning experience for our family: to not set our expectations for something when we've never actually been to one before, to have a good attitude and look for the positive side when our expectations aren't met, that our outings will be hit and miss as we try to get out and do more, that we probably aren't the target audience for a medieval festival, and that we prefer a nice visit to a castle ruin on a normal, regular old day.  Nothing wrong with that. 

Pete found a well.  You can tell he's impressed.
So, in summary, it was a lovely drive out to a lovely castle on a lovely Luxembourgish day!

But still, in the end, we really should have known better...


Anonymous said...

How fun, we thought of going there as well, but Medieval Festivals, as everything Medieval, are always just so ... medieval)
Thank you for the input. So useful for next year.

Anonymous said...

Thansk Rosie, as usual about split a gut on the MST3K segment. Too close for comfort... Don