Andalucia

Jerez de la Frontera

If I had a thousand sons, the first humane principle I would teach them should be, to forswear thin potations and to addict themselves to sack (Sherry)” Shakespeare, Henry IV, Part 2.

We spent a week in Jerez – anglicized to “Sherry” – during the Vendimia (grape harvest festival). Local tabancos (traditional Sherry bars) all have a 1€ for a wine and tapa deal so we just had to tapear (tapa crawl).

The festivities start with the blessing of the new season’s grapes on the steps of the Cathedral, which was built from the taxes on Sherry. The grapes are then trodden till the first juice runs. The crowd growled; where was the Vendimia Queen with her beautiful hand maidens dressed in white, the color of the soil and blue, the color of the sky that give life to the grapes?

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Jerez Cathedral - started 1695 finished 1778, paid for with a tax on Sherry

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Pisa de la Uva - treading of the season's grapes on the steps of the Cathedral

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The Tabanco (Sherry bar) Plateros was packed

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Sherry and cheese tasting at the Tabanco - from dry to sweet: Fino, Amontillado, Oloroso, Cream, Pedo Ximénez

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Octagonal tower of the Alcázar from 12th century

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Torre de Atalaya, 15th Century Gothic-Mudjar, originally a clock tower

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Typical Andalusian courtyard inside the Flamenco Center

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Modern apartment building follows the curve of the old Plaza de Toros

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Couldn't miss the Andalusian horses in action at the Royal Equestrian School

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Traditional Tabanco (Sherry bar) - cool and dark inside, hot and blindingly bright outside

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It's a té con mucha gente (bun fight) when there's free flamenco at Tabanco Pasaje

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Casa Gallo Azul (Blue Rooster) built 1927 for the Iberian- American Expo

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Chorros (fried dough) by the kilo, no they are not all ours!

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Our favorite breakfast - toasted bread roll with fresh tomato puree & olive oil

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Yes, we did enjoy a Tio Pepe


A day trip to Arcos de La Frontera, an iconic white village running along a ridge, 30 kilometers and 40 minutes by bus from Jerez.

In 1255, Arcos was conquered by Christians and it was on the frontier (de la Frontera) between Moors and Christians until the final reconquest in 1492.

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Arcos de la Frontera - a white hill top village - dominated by ...

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... Santa María de la Asunción, 15th century

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Narrow streets of Arcos

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Tapa of crunchy prawns with zucchini puree & pineapple sauce