Jo’s Monday walk : A rainy day in Jerez

Today I’ve got my map out, and am trying to make some sense of my collection of photos of Jerez.  Not always easy when you’re a ‘follow your nose, snap everything that catches your eye’ sort of person.  We were staying very centrally, in the historic quarter, and initially I thought this a poor choice.  Especially as we rounded a corner, to a row of houses propped up with giant sleepers, almost next door to our hotel.  Just how safe, and how scenic, was our ‘close to the cathedral’ accommodation going to be?  But I needn’t have worried.  La Fonda Barranco was warm and welcoming, and perfectly placed.  History was right on the doorstep, even if some of it did need a little shoring up.

As always, it was a case of orientating oneself, something I’m not especially good at.  I’ve usually just about got the hang of a place when it’s time to move on.  But I can tell you that we had a superb Ayuntamiento, and the stunning cathedral at our backs, along with a small army of sherry bodegas.  A myriad of narrow streets encouraged wandering, with seemingly an equal number of churches.

The hues are all beige, citrus lemon and ochre.  In Plaza del Arroyo, just around the corner from our hotel, I was already dumbfounded by the architecture, a crick in my neck as I gazed upwards at the elaborate twists and curves.

You might remember from my previous Jerez post, we arrived on Andalusia Day.  Entry to the museums was free, and we sought shelter from wind and rain in the Flamenco Museum.  Filled with art and music, the arresting courtyard at its heart is a shining example of many that I saw in Jerez.

Back on the glistening streets, it wasn’t long before we had to seek shelter again, this time in a most convenient cake shop.  Naturally!

There are always compensations.  We were caught out in the rain numerous times, resulting in a second visit to that cake shop.  The skylight at the rear of the cafe was leaking copious quantities into strategically placed buckets.  Undaunted, we tackled more cake!

More wandering brought us to the Santiago quarter, well known for its flamenco.  The ravaged umbrella dangling from a dustbin summed the weather up succinctly.  The Clock Museum would have provided an hour’s dalliance, with multiple tick-tocking, but the timed visits were for mornings only.  We’d missed the last performance at 13.15 so, with a wistful look at the grounds, we settled for an atmospheric bodega nearby.  I did stop to wonder who kept the heroic looking warrior supplied with crocosmia.

I could quite easily have entitled this post ‘Lost in Jerez’.  We had a tendency to make a 20 minute walk take an hour, but Jerez is a muddle of fascinating, if sometimes scruffy, streets.  The weather definitely played its part.  A Lonely Planet recommend had us seeking sanctuary in the church of San Miguel, where the huge wooden doors rattled as the wind howled outside.  Built during the 15th and the 18th centuries, its altarpiece, the work of Martinez Montanes, is among the most important works of the Golden Age of Seville.

A drum roll now for a sequence of March Squares, for Becky.  They should take me to the end of her challenge.  The Tinotto de Cielo, with a nod to sherry trifle, was particularly delicious.  The interesting menu at La Cruz Blanco included very tasty shrimp fritters and seafood lasagne too.

I still have the cathedral and the beautiful Alcazar to show you but they’ll keep, for the moment.  It’s time to put the kettle on, so you can settle down to read this week’s shares.

Many thanks to all of you who read and contribute to Jo’s Monday walk  It’s very much appreciated.  You’re welcome to join me any time.

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Almost certainly a step too far for most of you, but there are some beautiful photos here, from Arundhati :

How to turn One of Britain’s Best Walks into an Adventure

You don’t need photos so much as a little imagination, to walk alongside Susan :

Walking the “Sea Glass Festival”

And if you like a good time you can’t do better than to accompany Lady Lee :

Lovely weekend in Dusseldorf

Geoff has chosen to share a last bit of snow (I hope so!)  Keeping mine to myself :

Snow Doubt About It

We had joy, we had fun, we had… snowtime, with Drake :

Season in the sun

Eunice finds sunshine too.  And happy ducks!

A dog walk to Turton Tower

Smiling with Irene!  Reminds me of a Chuck Berry song, but that’s showing my age :

No place to go

Pauline is a lovely lady who likes to chat.  Wouldn’t you love to walk beside her!

Sonder…

And talking of lovely ladies, here’s another of my favourites.  Eloquence and history always mingle with Tish :

The Little Church By The Sea

Jude produces yet another garden from her bottomless archives!  Her flower galleries are exquisite :

Garden Portrait: Hergest Croft

And Carol dazzles with a beautiful display of abundance :

Two Gardens

That’s it for now!  I don’t have an Easter plan at present, and the weather looks uncertain at best.  Hopefully I’ll still be here with a Monday walk.

 

 

 

 

 

128 comments

  1. We will return to the Algarve in October via a direct-flight to Faro and will stay one-week. Can you recommend a location at the Eastern part of the Algarve which we do not know so far? Last time we had an appartment at Luz near Lagos which was also very nice. Any advice appreciated very much! Kind regards @ Ulli

    1. In October it will be quiet so you might like somewhere like Tavira, or Olhao, which have plenty of restaurants but are only half hour drive from Faro. Will you be car hiring? It’s not absolutely necessary, but gives you more flexibility if you want to get up into the hills. There are good bus and rail connections along the coast from Faro if you don’t wantt to drive. Both Fuseta and Cabanas have railway stations if you want somewhere smaller. I think you will find plenty of accommodation options but if you are in doubt and want to email me that’s fine. 🙂 🙂

      1. Thank you so much, plenty of ideas very good! Need to see what my companion Beatrice thinks about that, usually we follow comparable preferences. In any case we are happy to visit Portugal again!!!

  2. Fantastic architecture Jo – I do especially love the photos of the plaza after the rain and those colours – ochres, yellow and blues are stunning! At least it was probably warmer than the Siberian temperatures in the UK at the same time – can’t remember being so cold for a long time even with multiple layers of clothing (I felt like the Michelin man)! The cakes look delicious!!

      1. Yes that’s we found – it was the wind chill that I found the worst (along with the icy pavements!). It seemed to be coming directly from the Siberian Steppes! Hope you keep well rugged up!

  3. Fantastic walk and architecture! I do like Spain. When I lived in London, I won a trip to Seville courtesy of Harvey’s, and it included a trip to their bodega in Jerez. But we saw almost nothing of Jerez itself, so now I have an idea. 🙂

    1. We found it complicated to negotiate, Karen, but it’s always easier with familiarity isn’t it? 🙂 🙂 The weather was a bit naughty, but it’s only weather isn’t it, and didn’t really spoil our enjoyment. The one thing we didn’t do properly was the sherry experience, but we saw as much as we could in the time, including wonderful flamenco and the Andalucian horse show. 🙂

      1. My feeling is, enjoy what you can manage and don’t fret about what you missed. I think experience is better than ticking boxes. And you do seem to always have full experiences in your travels!

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