Sunday, 9 March 2008

Honey and Beekeeping Fair in Pastrana

Go to Pastrana, in Guadalajara province to visit the annual honey and bee keeping (apiculture) fair (Feria Apícola) in the small town of Pastrana.

White houses in a narrow street in PastranaPastrana is very ancient town, founded in the 13th century by the military religious order of Order of Calatrava as part of the repopulation effort after the expulsion of the Moors. Buildings of recent centuries are conspicuous by their absence. When the Holy See turned against military religious orders, the King confiscated the monks' property took over the town, giving it to the dukes. The dukes built the imposing fortified-looking palace in overlooks the town square, the Plaza de la Hora.

The Beekeeping Fair takes place in a large marquee installed in the Plaza. There were stalls selling honey and derived products from local producers. These ranged from pure honey and royal jelly, to hand creams, candles, and furniture and shoe polish. There was also mead (called in Spanish “hidromiel”) and from Galicia stronger liquor. there were also stands aimed at the bee-keepers themselves, with equipment and services and the Ministry of Agriculture providing advice.

Shiny metal honey centrifuges on exhibitor's standThe fair is the largest one of sector in Spain. It takes place each year in the second week of March. The fair has a webiste (in Spanish) www.feriaapicola.es.

After lunch we returned to Madrid taking a detour around the by the Embalse de Entrepeñas reservoir which is popular for water sports and has a number of housing developments that I've so often seen from the air and wondered where they are. Then went on to the picturesque town of Trillo, in the steamy shadow of the nuclear power plant.

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