Day 7 – Monday, 26/6/23

After breakfast, we set off at around 9 a.m. in the coach towards our final destination on this trip – Jerez.

We stopped for a comfort break after around 45 minutes, at which national lottery prizes were on show:

We then got into the town of Jerez itself for a sherry tasting.

Colin had organised a visit to the famous Andalusian stables at 1 p.m., but timing was going to be tight. Therefore, the sherry tasting needed to be hurried along a bit.

A young lady named Angela was to be our guide around this very large and old (17th century) bodega. American oak barrels everywhere, and a pervading sherry smell.

30 year old sherry
Soil type for the base wine – very chalky
Tasting table
Presentation box
Italian brandy used to fortify the wine – a snip at 1,000 €, but what a lovely bottle

Angela was patient with us and answered all our questions, but I could see Colin getting more and more agitated.

Eventually, we got to the tasting bit. First, a fino (around 16% alcohol), then an oloroso (around 18% and a bit sweeter), and finally a cream (20% and sweeter still). All well done, but took too long.

When we got back to the coach, we discovered poor Antonio, our driver, had been fined 90 € for illegal parking! Not having a good time at the hands of the traffic police. Jo organised a whip-round to assist his cause – it wasn’t his fault we were late, after all.

Off to see the horses, then. We made it, to Colin’s delight.

These stables are, according to some accounts, on a par with the world-famous Vienna equivalent. Certainly, we saw some fabulous looking horses being treated like royalty, but I am no expert!

This is a really specialist area, and we were mere tourists looking around a working high-class stables. During our tour, we couldn’t take many pictures, regrettably, but our tour leader, Jenny, had to stop several times in her delivery because horses were being taken in and out of their stables accompanied by neighing, clopping of hooves and lots of shouting. Very noisy and very smelly.

It wasn’t uninteresting, but Jenny seemed to regard this as a chore, so wasn’t particularly engaging. She did say that she’d never even sat on a horse in her life!

The grounds are in an old palace

We were allowed to enter the palace very briefly before our tour:

Nice chandeliers.

Training arena
Alvaro Domecq (I think) who founded these stables in 1973
Inside the training area
Local stork

We actually passed through some interesting areas – the tack room, the carriage room, the harness room, and more. However, most of our party had had enough by now and just wanted to get back to the hotel.

So – off we went. The stables would have been a lot more interesting if we could have taken photos.

Five minutes later, we were in the hotel.

Eventually got to our room, which was on the small side, but had a balcony (a Jean requirement) and a very decent bathroom.

God, it was hot. A beer was required. And finally acquired after a looong wait for the card machine to verify the transaction.

Food was required – we hadn’t eaten since breakfast – so we gave Room Service a try.

Worked a treat. 25 minutes later, two gazpachos, a ham and cheese sandwich and a spaghetti carbonara turned up, which we ate on the balcony. Very nice.

I hadn’t slept particularly well the previous night, so took the opportunity for a snooze. Much needed.

We all met up in the reception area for a “cocktail” (which was, unsurprisingly, a sherry), followed by an excellent buffet dinner in the company of Jan and Pete once again. An excellent evening.

We go to a village called Ronda tomorrow, and somewhere else that I can’t remember. I hope you’ll join us for the update.

One response to “Day 7 – Monday, 26/6/23”

  1. sounds like you are having a good time aided by a few sheerys we went to madeira in april and drank lots of madeira wine which is very much like sherry we bought 5 bottles home and already have drunk 2!

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