Sunday, 22 March 2015

22 February 2015 – Wild West Theme Park

Many of the “Spagetti Westerns” were filmed in Almeria, including the Clint Eastwood series  “Fistful of Dollars”.   There are now three theme parks, all of which claim to be the site of those movies.   We visited the Oasys/Mini Hollywood, which is the largest of the three.
The sets are very impressive, whether Clint Eastwood ever filmed there or not.   There is a photo studio where you can dress up as a cowboy or cowgirl, and there were stills from many “cowboy movies”  such as “True Grit”, but I am pretty sure that John Wayne was not a visitor to Almeria.
The highlight of the visit is a gunfight in the town square.   Even in February it was crowded for the midday show, so I can only imagine what it must be like during the main season.
The show is pretty “hammy”, but also very enjoyable.   It lasts about half an hour and includes shoot outs, fist fights and even a hanging.
One of the buildings is a saloon, and there is a “can can show” immediately after the shoot out.   It was even more crowded in the saloon, and the “can can show” was very tame.  The master of ceremonies did a long act, but all in Spanish, which made it seem very long indeed.
So we were quite pleased to get out for a walk around the area.   All roads lead to a large compound which is really an open air zoo.
The lizard collection is particularly impressive, and has the added advantage of being temperature controlled.
So early in the year, most of the bars were closed.   But we did find one which provided a limited choice of soft drinks and a choice of two ice creams.  My ankle was still very painful, and I was glad of the excuse to sit in the shade with an ice cream
David and Rosemary went off to explore the whole area, which was quite extensive.   Jan and I used my ankle as an excuse to remain seated in the cool and very comfortable bar
We then walked around the cowboy set, including a very dusty “Boot Hill”
I was not the only one to take advantage of every opportunity to sit and watch the world go by.  It was a lovely sunny day, but quite hot for walking around in the open.
There were plenty of props for kids (of all ages) to play with
And the cowboys even let David play with one of their guns.