I stood in a different place as well, closer to the start of the run, rather than in the stands near the alka that is lanced. Where I stood today had revealed a different chapter of the story. There, I saw the knights as the waited for the trumpet to blare and their name announced. Children would hold the waiting horses, and then when the time approached for their run, some knights would ride in circles around the Sinjska alka statue at the head of the path, while others would sit and relax, only getting up at the last moment. There was no rhyme or reason as to which was the better method. The man who won was one of the guys relaxing, cool as a cucumber, until the last moment. It worked wonders for him - of three runs, twice hit lanced the alka right in the center.
In less than an hour I leave for the final final day of the festival, when the knights dress in the fanciest clothes, replicating the uniforms of the soldiers 298 years ago. It's 37 degrees celsius outside right now. I think it's a good guess that tonight a lot of beer will be drunk by the glorius Alka sinjska knights.
I shot these drawings on my ipad, so the quality is a bit weak. When I'm back in Geneva, I'll make some higher quality scans and create an album on my viewbook site. I have to go now - time to prepare for Sinjska alka!
|The knights assistants - called 'boys' - parade|
|No parade is complete without a band|
|A boy holds a waiting horse|
|A horse bursts with expectant energy, ready to bold down the lane|
|2 knights pace around the statue while one begins his run|
|The horses quickly bolt past|
|Another knight begins his run toward glory|
|And the winner receives 3.11 meters of fine red cloth (and some money)|
|Afterwards, in Sijn, people relax and mingle into the evening|