Saturday, July 08, 2006

Jousting the night away

Last weekend saw Turku go back in time to the 15th century, as the medieval market lured some 100 000 people to see what life in town all those centuries ago might've looked like. I spent quite a while browsing through the stalls and enjoying the atmosphere, just like I do every year. It was fun, even though I was recovering from a cold and didn't even dress properly for the occasion (it would've been doubly as hot and uncomfortable wearing a velvet dress), but even dressed in a more modern fashion, I got some money spent...

But what was more interesting this year, was that there was a horse tournament for the first time. You know, knights on handsome horses, sporting against each other with lances and stuff. Well, naturally it was all done in somewhat smaller scale than I imagine tournaments for example in England would be , but nevertheless I had a good time cheering for the knights who were trying to show off their skills. I had mom's digicamera with me, and I took quite a few photos. And here are a few to show what the Finnish knights could do.

The Black Knight shows off his skills before kidnapping the King's daughter.

And so he rides away with the damsel, clearly in distress.

Is there a noble enough knight to save the King's daughter?

Will it be the Blue knight?

Or perhaps the Red one?

Or the Blue and Gold knight?

And in the meanwhile, the Black knight imprisons the lady.

The knights are given tasks to prove their might. Picking up the King's daughter's "petticoat" with a spear is one of them.

Picking up rings with a sword is another.

And one should not forget the slashing of the cabbages...

Mightiest of the knights on his mighty steed.

And they also rode against each other...

The Black knight approaches with no good intentions.

He sets fire around the two knights and they are forced to ride through the flames to safety.

And then there's a terrible skirmish, in which the Black knight is defeated. Or so it seems.

Having made a miraculous recovery, the Black knight returns. And in the end, love wins it all as the Black Knight and the King's daughter aren't too displeased with each other after all...

Not a very original storyframe, but entertaining, sure. Funnily enough the knights seemed to communicate mostly with grunts, growls and arrrr's, but luckily the Fool was articulate enough to elaborate on what they clearly were meaning to say.

The horses were very well trained for the job, they patiently galloped about with their respective knights trashing about with this and that weapon. Very admirable.

I'm hoping I'll get to try some of this "medieval riding" at the Rohan stables where the riders came from. It'd be great to have a try at it before travelling to England (next summer, if everything goes well) and hopefully seeing a tournament in slightly grander surroundings. Like at one of the shows of these people.


Donna said...

Hello! I just discovered your blog and I've already found so much to like. Let's see -- travel, horses, historical fiction -- that's just for starters. I'm adding you to my Bloglines so I can keep up with your new entries.

Johanna said...

Hi, Donna!

I'm glad to have you as a reader! :) Welcome, or tervetuloa, as we'd say here in Finland. ;)