Travel diary: Non-wine adventures in Jerez

We’ve started to feel that we’re coming to the end of our time in Jerez — in four weeks we’ll be in the Canary Islands! So this week we made the most of being here, with a visit to a zoo, a flamenco centre, a hammam and a clock museum.

Though I should say that we didn’t abandon wine altogether — we visited our favourite tabanco twice.

Monday 14/1: After a long Skype chat with Dave and Angie (part business, part pleasure) we recorded and published the podcast and both of us got a lot of other work done.

Tuesday 15/1: In the late morning we headed over to the Zoobotánico, where we chatted for awhile with our contact Mercedes then wandered around to see the animals. The zoo was small but pleasant, and I was impressed by the breeding programme which is the zoo’s main focus. The otters were also awesome.

Salpicón de mariscos -- yum.

Salpicón de mariscos — yum.

On the way home we noticed that the flamenco centre was open — we usually never pass by there during its opening hours. So, we stopped in for half an hour or so, before having a delicious menu del día lunch in Plaza Esteve.

After a worky afternoon, we headed to Damajuana in the evening for a glass of sherry at the English-speaking meetup.

Wednesday 16/1: While Craig spent the day working and trying out his new time-tracking software, I studied: Spanish in the morning, German in the afternoon.

Thursday 17/1: After a morning of work, we headed over to the Hammam Andalusí in the late afternoon. They’d invited us to try out their facilities and I thought we’d just we spending an hour or so in the pools, but no — they wanted us to have the full deal. After an hour of alternating between the freezing cold and very hot pools, we were led into a treatment room for a luxurious body scrub and facial mask. Next, we were given delicious mint tea before a half-hour massage in a deliciously scented room. Afterwards were shown around the rest of the complex by Virginia, one of the owners. She left us on the terrace with a drink, cheese, and a fantastic view of the cathedral — it was magic.

The terrace was a great place for a drink after our spa treatment.

The terrace was a great place for a drink after our spa treatment.

We weren’t quite ready to head home though, so we had a sherry at Tabanco Plateros first.

Friday 18/1: We’d arranged to go to the Palacio del Tiempo at 10.30, but getting out of bed was more difficult than we thought it would be. Eventually we managed, and ended up arriving at the gates ten minutes early! The website indicated that the complex had two entrances, so we wandered around to the other one, only to find it locked. By the time we got back to the first gate we were late — though probably not by Andalusian time.

The clock museum is housed in a 19th century mansion.

The clock museum is housed in a 19th century mansion.

Our contact Marian took us around the impressive museum, which houses over 300 clocks (the oldest is from 1670), then showed us some of the other buildings on the property, used for events like weddings and conferences. She indicated a locked door and explained that the Mystery of Jerez display which used to be housed there was no longer operating — now, they use the space for events. I was surprised, as the tourist maps and Mystery of Jerez website advertise it as much as ever.

Saturday 19/1: After a slow day, we met Ana and Diego at Tabanco Plateros for a drink and a chat, before heading to Mesón León for delicious tapas.

Sunday 20/1: Ah, sleeping in is so good! And so is being brought breakfast in bed. So on the whole, today started very well. We spent the day relaxing, then headed out for a walk and a light lunch at 100 Montaditos: everything’s €1 on Sundays!

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2 Responses to “Travel diary: Non-wine adventures in Jerez”

  1. Rachel January 21, 2013 at 1:09 am #

    Seems like you guys did enjoy your stay in Jerez, I haven’t been on that part of Cadiz. Someday soon,.. I love 100 Montaditos and every Wednesday in Florida you get every item for $1; it just gets too clugged and you’re gonna wait for your food for almost an hour. But still, it’s awesome. Glad that it’s the same tradition on that side of the world. But if you’re going to convert it, it’s a little a bit expensive (hehe).

    • Craig and Linda January 21, 2013 at 5:05 am #

      Yes, Jerez is definitely worth a stop! They do a €1 for everything on Wednesdays and Sundays here – so very similar.

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