When a church charges you admission they abrogate any restrictions they want to impose. That is my belief. Take for instance the Cathedral in Jerez. It would appear that it is okay by God to take photos all over the place except for certain areas.
Don’t get me wrong, I have no problem with an embargo on photographing people in private prayer or the worship of their own personal nonsense. People should be free to mumble whatever they want without fear of the paparazzi snip snapping away at them. No, my issue is when you enter a big church, having paid for the privilege and get told by a security guard to stop taking photos of something.
I’m not complaining about paying for admission. I realise that with the decline in church attendance there is an equal decline in church funds. I love the edifice far more than the stupidity it represents, after all. I’d pay to go into a museum of art so why not for a museum of nonsense?
But when a pumped up guard tells Mirinda she can’t take a photo of something so innocuous I can’t even remember what it was, then that makes my blood boil.
Which reminds me, since when did Mary take the Eucharist? Isn’t that the blood and body of Christ? There was a painting in the cathedral showing a young Mary doing just that. How did she know? Somehow quite odd and possibly inappropriate.
The cathedral (which didn’t feature anything even remotely like a queue) was at the end of our morning travel from Seville to Jerez de la Frontera.
The trip featured a sleep in (for Mirinda and me anyway) and a taxi to the station where my buffer was big enough to mildly irritate Mirinda.
As we sat on the platform, there was some discussion about where coach number 1 would be. Given the buffer, the discussion went on for some time.
Obviously we had two choices unless RENFE went for a random number shuffle which seemed unlikely. Naturally we went for the beginning of the train. When it finally arrived, coach 1 was at the back. There was a mad scramble down the platform, sending various passengers flying.
It wasn’t really a problem. We found our seats then sat somewhere else because someone was actually sitting in our seats. The trip was an hour of nothing but relaxation as the predominantly featureless landscape sped by outside.
During this break in our trip, it seems like the perfect time to talk about our shower in the hotel in Seville. It was fantastic. A waterfall effect in a standalone, walk-in shower with excellent pressure and perfect temperature control. I’ve had a lot of showers in a lot of hotels but this has to rank up there with the best. It was so good that I actually had two showers most days we stayed.
In the meanwhilst we left the train at Jerez central and took a taxi to our accommodation. And what a most excellent place. We were booked into a self catering apartment for the next few days and it was just off an amazing square with an almost infinite choice of eateries.
Our first choice was chosen for us as our very own happy Santa enticed us into his establishment where tapas after tapas was delivered to us by his grinning waitress. The beer was ice cold and fabulous and I need hardly mention the perfect lemoncello Gabriela gave us to celebrate spending time at his restaurant.
Mind you, Denise wasn’t that pleased with her general lack of milk delivery. She has been having increasing difficulty in getting a weak enough coffee and today was no exception.
After lunch we went for a bit of a pre-siesta wander, heading up to the cathedral where I’m sure I saw Polly and Dennis enter ahead of us. I’m fairly certain that Polly was wearing a wholly (holy) inappropriate ultra short pair of shorts. While Jesus wouldn’t have minded I think the priests would probably have a few conniptions had they seen her.
As for me I was fooled into climbing what I thought was a spiral staircase to a tower but what turned out to be a spiral staircase to one of those prayer chairs and a painting of Christ wearing his crown of thorns. It was most disappointing. I guess it was evened out with my discovery of a St Sebastien on the side aisle altar.
Then, of course, back to the apartment for our siesta after picking up some milk. The apartment is a two bedroom fully furnished flat with kitchen and everything, including a much needed kettle. It was rather nice coming back to the place and having tea and coffee in the dining/family/lounge room.
We then sat and listened to some ghastly flamenco music while Mirinda worked on her DBA before, eventually, heading out for dinner.
On the way back from the cathedral I had noticed a little bar that sold Punk IPA on tap and felt we really should stop there for a pre-dinner drink. Mind you, we’d already had some pre-pre-dinner white sherry that the owner had conveniently left in the fridge. Coincidentally it was the same stuff we have in our fridge at home. Mind you, Jerez is the home of sherry so perhaps it’s not so much a coincidence.
So we sat at a table outside along with a lot of other bustling groups of pre-dinner people making as much chattering noise as possible. A man with a very big piano strapped across his chest played tunes, imploring people to drop coins in his bucket, beggars dropped bits of cardboard on tables to catch out unsuspecting tourists and Milan was playing Betis on a very handy TV screen.
It was like all the life in Jerez was in this little square. At least it was until we headed further up the town and found an almost continuous river of people eating and drinking and celebrating birthdays as the night wore on.
Finally we made it to a Mexican restaurant (apparently there’s ten in Jerez though we only saw one) and sat down for some street food. I rather enjoyed my beef and cheese but thought the nachos were a bit much.
I liked the restaurant very much. It had an air of informality that accurately or not, felt very Mexican to me.
After dinner we swung by the jazz club in order to sniff it out but it was closed so we have no idea whether it smelled good, bad or indifferent. We, instead, walked back and up and around the Jerez central square where we stopped for an ice cream of unknown flavours before heading for bed.
The revellers seemed to carry on all night in the streets outside our flat.