Medieval encampment weekend in St Jorioz - Al Fresco Holidays
Two miles and 600 years from the campsite was the 2nd annual Medieval encampment weekend in St Jorioz.
Unable to find adequate information prior to the event, we cycled off to discover!
And what a discovery! We had to make a speedy return to the campsite to tell people what they were missing – views of a tented (medieval) market, people apparently straight from the 15th century purveying authentic costumes and weapons alongside reproduction jewellery, goblets, honey and breads. The stallholders were appropriately attired in cloaks, jerkins, leggings, hats and gowns; they lived and ate in medieval style in tents by the lake.
The battlefield was timetabled to have jousting bouts involving full contact combat between contesting knights, wielding real swords, artillery demonstrations with cannons etc when we were instructed to put our fingers in our ears, and archery competitions. These were so authentic, that it was only when the modern-day French firebrigade came to stretcher a casualty lying on a bed of straw off to hospital, that we realised he was NOT acting – he was the victim of an “unplanned accident” in a sword fight!
We ate medieval soup from a cauldron, with a tranche of bread and alpine cheese, followed by apple cake baked in an underground oven. And watched a comedy performed by a group of medieval juggling minstrels – made funnier by watching the large French audience’s reactions.
To complete the entertainment, there were simple old-fashioned wooden games, which the children all thoroughly enjoyed.
On Thursday, our “soiree” proved very popular with our customers, giving them a chance to meet their neighbours over a glass of wine, and compare notes on what to do at Chamonix etc. The children were divided into 2 teams, each with a responsible leader, and ran round the campsite finding out answers to various questions. When the parents were unable to answer the same questions, such as “Where do Pauline and David think you should go if you visit Albertville?” the children wanted them to go and find the answers as well! The following day, everyone said they had really enjoyed the evening – although some of the guests did not get the early morning start they had intended!