Sand Sculptures at "Fiesa 2004"
There was an extensive advertising campaign for this exhibition of sand sculptures. Just about anywhere we went, there were intriguing posters tempting visitors to the site (near
Being naturally curious (not 'nosey', as Nev would term it) I made sure we paid it a visit during the week we had a hire car.
Pêra is only about 8 km (5 miles) west along the coast from Albufeira, so it was really no trouble at all to get there.
A bumpy turn-off from the narrow road took us down onto a sandy, free-parking area, and a cautious sprint back across the 'highway' got us to the entrance gate. Entrance was only 4 Euros, and it
turned out to be well worth the price.
So, what was it all about?...
A group of 25 sand artists from various countries (as far away as Brazil!) had contributed to the different sand sculptures on show. Some were solo efforts, others done by duos. I don't remember any
exhibits that had been worked on by three or more artists.
But were they impressive? - spectacular, more like! I'm afraid that our photographs probably do not do justice to the scale and workmanship of the sand sculptures on show.
The theme was 'Tales of Enchantment', and most of the displays were of well-known fairy tales such as Aladdin and Snow White. But there were some tales depicted that were new to me (each of the sand sculptures
had a small notice describing its theme in Portuguese and English).
The genie from the 'Aladdin' display.
Some displays were more general in theme, such as 'Castles' and 'Dragons', and some purely historical, like 'Cleopatra and Egypt'.
There was a outside broadcast news team there during our visit, but I wasn't interviewed, so that spared me the embarrassment of airing my rusty Portuguese to a wider public!
In order to maximise the event's attraction to families, there were other things going on around and over the sand sculptures, like bungee trampolining, wall climbing, a rope slide (rappel) and even (on Thursday evenings) an
Oriental Dance Workshop!
And there were daily 'workshops', where mainly younger attendees could get a feel for how the sand sculptures had been created.
"Jungle Jen", with Baloo and King Louie!
They also staged lots of live musical events on the two sound stages, usually at night. The larger stage was right in the middle of the sand sculptures and was a skeletal geodesic scaffolding
arrangement festooned with speakers and lights. Starting nightly at 7 pm, the themes were:
Monday - World Music
Tuesday - Disco Music
Wednesday - Jam Session
Thursday - a 'Solar Radio' live broadcast
Friday - Electronic Chill Out Music
Saturday - Oriental Music
Sunday - Jazz Music
Quite a variety of sounds - and there was a 'video projection' event every day.
(That was the 'Gulliver in Lilliput' display that I'm standing in front of in the last pic, by the way).
The Grand Closing Party - after we'd returned home, unfortunately - was billed as "Come And Have A Tea With Cleopatra". Which you must admit sounds like fun.
So, why did they call it Fiesa 2004, you ask? Well, so did I, and it turns out to be a shortened version of "Festival Internacional de Escultura em Areia
2004", which translates as International Festival of Sand Sculptures. So now you know (in case you're ever asked)...
"Nev, Egypt and Asterix the Gaul" - an unlikely combination.
Opening times were from 10am to midnight every day between May 22nd and September 22nd, so I suppose that large numbers of
people got to see the intriguing sand sculptures. I'll definitely look out for a repeat next year.
I was certainly glad that the poster campaign had brought Fiesa 2004 to my attention - and even a reluctant Nev had to agree that it had been a must-see event...
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Or, see other years' sand sculpture festivals:
: Fiesa 2006
: Fiesa 2007
: Fiesa 2008