Princess Vanilla

According to Mirinda I should like ballet if I like performing horses. This would be something of an odd assertion if it were not for the horses we saw today, high stepping and generally prancing about to ballet music. After she told me I should like ballet I asked her why she didn’t like opera if she enjoyed flamenco. That had her stumped.

The weather almost had us stumped because it was actually raining this morning. I was pretty certain this kind of thing didn’t happen in Andalusia. I was wrong. The rain started sometime in the early hours and continued through to after lunch. Mind you, when I say rain, it was mostly faint and not particularly wet.


The wet streets of Jerez de la Frontera

After a coffee (and a chance for Denise to go and buy the only unbroken umbrella in a nearby shop) we headed off, the idea being to visit a Domenican convent on the way. Sadly the convent was closed so we just kept walking. Anyway, as it turned out, we didn’t really have a lot of spare time.

Today we were booked in to see a show called How the Andalusian Horses Dance at the Fundacion Real Esculia Andaluza del Arte Ecuestre. This is where the famous Andalusian performing horses live and train. Mirinda insisted that I organise some tickets. I managed to get some in the front row.

The show was excellent. The horses were beautiful and graceful, the riders pictures of serious concentration. I’m sure they spend years learning to cement their facial features into something approaching grim.

It was nice to see a couple of women in the troupe given it’s nearly always males who do these things. I do wonder why one of the women wore light coloured boots though. My guess would be because she is still in training and it’s a clear indicator for the other riders. Either that or she just left her dark boots at home today.

The only thing missing was a massive audience. The place was barely a third full. Still, though small, the audience was fully appreciative as the horses went through their paces.

I’m fairly certain I saw Polly and Dennis across from us. At one stage, the person I thought was Dennis, looked about to leap onto one of the horse’s backs. Fortunately the person I thought was Polly, pulled him back in time. As it turned out, this was not the last time we saw them today.

After the show, as we left the arena, the rain had gone, the sky was blue and the sun started heating things up again. So everything was back to normal for our walk back.

The fountain below is at a major junction on the way to our apartment. It features penitents and Christ and various other religious figures. Mirinda is always quite concerned about the penitents given they resemble the Klu Klux Klan and hark back to a darker time when the Spanish Inquisition wore clothes that disguised.

But enough of the darker side of Spanish history (and America today) and onto lunch. Today’s tapas came courtesy of a small place just across the road from the apartment. A very amusing and excellent waiter lured us in with his faltering English. We had delicious tapas. And the beer was good too.

As we ate, he managed to lure in a very big group of Germans. I congratulated him and he gave me a very cheeky and triumphant thumbs up.

A little later, as our siesta started to kick in, Mirinda suggested we go to a Flamenco show. Tickets were booked almost immediately.


And the flamenco was excellent. Full of pain and passion and muchos noise. From the moment we walked in and the guy behind the counter recognised me instantly calling me “Senor Gary!” before filling me in on all the gossip I needed to know. He showed us to our tables which were in an excellent spot with a wonderful view of the stage.

And then, you’d never guess it, but in walked Polly and Dennis and sat next to Mirinda. Oddly enough they’d also had dinner in the same restaurant as us earlier on. Polly even tried to knock Denise over on exiting the toilet. They never stop amazing me.

Mirinda admiring Denise’s book collection with Polly and Dennis studying the menu behind.

Dinner was interesting. Mirinda asked for assorted fish and this plate turns up with a while load of fish which had been dipped in batter and deep fried. The fish were whole. They were very crunchy. I really liked the sardines. I didn’t eat the heads.

Meanwhile back at the flamenco…we had some great high passion in dance and singing. It was Denise’s first and she enjoyed it though she did say she’d like to know what the story was. I said I wasn’t bothered about the story that it’s all very sexy which is good enough for me.

We walked home with the cante screeches echoing in our ears.


Princess Vanilla was a dessert option in the restaurant where we had dinner. I have no idea what it is.

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1 Response to Princess Vanilla

  1. Josephine Cook says:

    Before I forget who is Polly and Dennis and top marks to the girls for trying to be dancers. I have seen the horses Lorna and I went on a bus trip to see them they are so clever and beautiful to look at. Love mum xxxxx

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