Monday, January 17, 2011

The First Post from the Frontier — Jerez de la Frontera

The train ride from Sevilla to Jerez took one hour and six minutes and was an absolute pleasure.  We could have taken the express train — 52 minutes — but that would have meant getting up "early enough" to make the 12:05 train 5 minutes from our apartment.  These two party boys took the 2:05 p.m. train instead.  Jerry decided today to be more confident in his Spanish language skills.  I told the cab driver where we were going, but Jerry stepped right up to the ticket counter at the train station and said, "gracias!"  It's not quite what he intended... "good morning" or "hello" would probably have been more appropriate than "thank you."  So, he quickly stepped back and I did the rest.  I suppose we should be grateful he didn't say "aloha."

THE CONVENT NEXT DOOR IN SEVILLA — TWO CENTURIES WORTH OF DUST

Another lesson learned:  RENFE (the train service) assigns seats.  We didn't realize that and ended up with seats facing backwards.  Not a good thing for Jerry.  So, there's something I'll have to communicate in broken Spanish for the ride home.  Fortunately, it was a short trip.  Jerry spent much of it standing in the alcove by the vending machines, which wasn't a bad thing; they had really good chocolate.

Our hotel in Jerez is charming and our rooms — the best in the house because the owners are friends of our Seville landlord — are beautiful.  We went for a quick bite to eat and then took a walk.  Our arrival coincided with siesta, so the entire city was pretty much closed up and quiet, but we had a great lunch and a wonderful walk.  Jerez is filled with charm.  We'll explore a lot more tomorrow, will check out some neighborhoods where we've seen apartments listed and will then let you know what we think.  Of course, we'll have to check out at least one of the wine bodegas.  Tio Pepe stands proudly next to the cathedral.

TIO PEPE — I'M SURE HE'S SOMEONE'S PATRON SAINT

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