It wasn’t just any weekend in my town, people were on the street calling my name, they looked for me in the Church, at the Castle, they sought me on the walls of the houses.
I felt observed, without understanding what was going on, until on one of my flights in search of food I heard neighbors say that the “1st Festival of Swifts” was happening in Alange. At first I could not believe it, as there had been many years of struggle against flying CDs and other stuff that marred my life somewhat, but now I was the star of Alange along with my family and friends and to tell you the truth, since you are reading this, I was flattered to be the celebrity of the weekend, why not admit it.
I continued flying to find out more, I knew there were lectures, presentations and a walk that caught my attention. It was a route through Alange, how curious; I’d spent time here, knew the locals, but did not know the history of the village where I was born, so I didn’t think twice, and decided to accompany the humans in the dark of the night.
At half past ten I flew over the Pata del Buey (the “Ox’s Hoof” lookout point) and waited anxiously for people to arrive. The guide, whom everyone called Juan Diego, began to recount the legends and stories of Alange and after the Pata del Buey, he took us to the Hermitage of St Gregorio, outside of which I heard about drawings that the kids at school had made about me and my friends, I went to browse and was impressed by so much artwork about me.
The walk continued to the “Homage to Water” fountain. Without being seen, I flew over the sculptures and there heard talk of severe storms, and destructive lightning bolts, and of times where the real and the divine would mix.
I kept flying to the Commission House, and continued onward on the tour through the most emblematic places of the town … its Church, the Wolf Stone, the Bulls’ Canchos, the Hermitage of St Bartolomew and finally the Spa. As I did not want to frighten the brave few who remained in those wee hours of the night, I decided to head straight to the garden of the Balneario, where I needed a rest after more than three hours on the trip and, strange as it may sound, I settled on one of the sprinklers that water the garden every night. The group entered the Grand Hotel Aqualange and went through the tunnel that connects it to the Roman Baths; truthfully, inside I don’t know what happened but I can imagine that they talked about the Spa, its Heritage, of the discoveries that were made while the tunnel was being built, but as I say, that’s what I imagine they said because I decided not to enter. After a while waiting on the sprinkler, the walkers came out into the garden where there was time for pictures and to say a few words when, suddenly and without knowing if it was my fault, the sprinklers started working, scaring the group; but they were not alone, and I also flew off to the top of the of the spa buildings where, seeing that the tour was reaching its end, I flew to the entrance of Hotel Aqualange, flew over the flowers that adorn the entrance, and saw inside the farewell photo being taken. From there I decided to fly home to my nest.
If you didn’t see me during this festival, I hope there is another chance to do so next year. I, for now, I will keep to myself and keep flying among the dozens of swifts that do so every day in the skies of Alange.
Greetings to all the people of Alange.
Text, Nicholas Megías Berdonce