I had an amazing weekend at Elfia in Arcen. The atmosphere was great, the whole thing looked fantastic and our camp rocked.
Friday morning, Mellien and Bas picked me up and we drove to The Farm. There we packed up the rented van, Harry’s van and Anneke’s car. Bas had to go to work and would join us in the evening. With the whole group, the packing was done quickly, and we were on our way. All together we were ten people and three dogs.
After arrival, we had some trouble finding our designated camping site. With some help of the organisation, we found it. They had moved us to a better spot. We were now across from the main stage behind the line of food carts. So our back was towards that, and we faced a beautiful pond. The build of the camp went very smoothly and before long we were ready. The visitors wouldn’t be there until Saturday so we could relax for now.
The next morning, before the festival opened its doors, Jarig and I went to walk their dog. The park around Arcen Castle is fantastic and very elaborate. The big glass building is a greenhouse that also features a Jurassic Park bit complete with fake dinosaurs.
When we returned it was time to get the picture going. This meant find something to do all day so you’re useful, while having fun and presenting an interesting and pretty picture for the crowd. I mostly held fire watch where I kept the fire going and watched the food we were cooking. Beyond ourselves, the camp is dressed up with many accessories that make it feel even more alive. When the visitors stop and want to know more, or are impressed, you know you’ve done a good job.
It’s important that the camp always looks complete and lively. We get the free entrance in return for doing just that. So, during both days we took turns going out for a bit to stroll the festival grounds, take a look at other stands, maybe buy some stuff. Every one has something they can do that is sort of authentic to the middle ages. Julius gives little workshops in blacksmithing. Anneke cooks for all of us. Margreet spins wool, Harry does some wood working. Mellien does little felting workshops. Eva varies but this time around it was needle felting. Jarig, Bas and I don’t really have a niche, so we do whatever needs doing. Bas ended up assisting with the Blacksmithing a lot. And I did fire and tried my hand at some wood working with the small axe on the second day. This was quite fun to do, and I think I want to do that more often.
The evenings are almost an event on their own. After the visitors have gone, the music has died off, the sky has grown dark. Candles are lit, the fire is still burning. There’s a quietness but all around you hear the different camps still living. The last evening we sat around the fire for quite some time.
Monday morning we got up fairly early so we could pack up everything without having to hurry. In the afternoon we got back on the road to our Highland. Saying goodbye to Arcen for this year.
The stake I made. It needs some sanding to be nice and smooth and then it will be a gift for Nienke to hunt vampires with.