Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Medieval Times

Arriving at Toronto's Medieval Times was easy. The roads were good, traffic was light and we thought it'd be fairly sparsely attended for a Saturday evening in February. We were mistaken. It was packed.

We were warned not to go during the week as the place is over-run by school kids brought there to experience life in the middle ages.

Well, let me clue you in boys and girls... your first clue that is is NOT medieval times is that everyone gets a crown as they enter the facilities. With over 300 attendees, all royalty with crowns, well, this ain't no medieval times. I doubt there were even a quarter of that many crowns in existence in Medieval Europe. And all this royalty and no retinues? where were my escorts, my handmaidens? Alas. None to be found.

It was strongly suggested we arrive at 6 for the 7:30pm show. We did, and found ourselves in the grand hall (foyer?) milling around, unable to go to our seats (yellow crowns upon entry=yellow section=yellow knight's cheering section). Unable to enter the feasting area, we were all channeled to the bar for $7.00 draught beer (no mead) served in souvenir plastic cups that have the images that move back and forth when you move the cup. Knights hacking at each other mostly. Other attractions were the gift shops: calligraphic, wearables, neon necklaces and waving sticks, pewter knick-knacks and I think some swords and jewelry too. There was more but my attention wasn't focused there. I was most attracted to the glass display case with the falcons in it. Two were on display. Such amazing creatures. And in another room you could see the horses in their stalls awaiting show time.

During the wait to be seated at our table, the King knighted members of the audience. Many were marking birthdays, like this woman, who turned 25 and was wearing full-on princess garb.

A few were being knighted on the occasion of retiring and turning 50, and a some were turning 11 and 12. The King looked good and hearty. I wondered what you got paid for being King these days.

Once in we were given food by our serving wench.
Here she is bringing around our medieval vegetable soup
(it had corn in it... and it was a tomato base...) which she served to us from a bucket with a ladle.

Our table setting had no utensils. We drank our soup from a metal bowl with a side handle and all the other food was eaten with out fingers.

We drank from a plastic stein. They have the best, and the biggest, finger wipes I've even seen. Good for the chicken halves we were served and the ribs. Vegetables were roast potatoes cut in half. Nary a green thing to be found. Desert was an apple pastry, strudel-like, which I didn't like yet others loved. Beverages we indulged in were medieval pepsi, coffee and water.

And such was the setting for the evening's entertainment. I'll focus on that in my next post.

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