One of the great things about travelling in Europe is that you never know exactly what you'll encounter.
Today we went to a park in Nijmegen and found a community all set up within it, complete with horses, weaponry, jugglers and beggars.
For a fantasy writer, this was a gold mine!
I was able to see the different types of arrow heads and to hold a sword and medieval armour - and they were a lot heavier than I had expected. A full suit of armour, said the blacksmith, weighs approximately 40 Kilos. We spoke about swords and smiths, and I thought of a phrase from Mary Stewart's The Hollow Hills - the jewels set into the hilt of Arthur's sword are 'topaz and emeralds and sapphires, which in the language of swords means joy and honour and a clean death.' (I hope I have that quote right).
Which lead me to think: if you read, you learn all sorts of stuff, and you never know when you might find it useful. Even if it's to encourage a discussion on weaponry swords with a medieval blacksmith by the side of a park in Nijmegen.