Jerez de la Frontera: Clocks & (no) Sherry
So it’s been awhile and this is the beginning of my attempt at catching up on my latest adventures. Let’s go back about 4 weeks…Christmas season is in full-swing, lights are strung up all over Algeciras, and my host mom invites me to tag along for a day-trip to Jerez de la Frontera, a city between here and Sevilla, about an hour away. I gladly go with and soon find myself alone, navigating through the streets of this rainy city, armed with a map and absolutely no plan on how to spend the next few hours. I decided then and there my sense of direction was good enough to go sans map, and that if something looked interesting I would stop, otherwise I would read signs, or if all else fails, tag myself as a tourist and pull out the map. After walking for a good two hours through the typical narrow cobble-stoned streets and huge, open plazas, I decided I needed to partake in a tourist activity to kill some time. I saw a sign for “Wine Musuem” and was intrigued—after all, Jerez is the capital of Sherry, what better way to enjoy my day then a wine tour?
Determined to find the museum on signage alone, I was excited to see I had arrived after 5 or so minutes. I was greeted by a iron gate that read “Museo del Vino” and confidently marched up to the ticket vendor and bought my wine tour ticket. Feeling good about our conversation in Spanish, my attempt was sadly fruitless as I later found somewhere along the way we were lost in translation (story of my life). The women somehow understood I wanted a ticket to the clock museum, conveniently located on the same grounds as the wine museum. I don’t know how it happened either, as I definitely know and have known that reloj=clock and vino=wine for a long time. Maybe it was the thick Andalusian accent, or maybe only my premature confidence, but either way I ended up on a clock tour in an old winemaker’s family’s palace. To my credit, the wine museum is located on the same grounds, so I was in the right area, just not on the right tour. As I’m welcomed into the palace, formerly the property of prestigious Spanish winemakers, I kept seeing room after room after room of clocks. Clocks from 18th century Paris, clocks from London. Clocks, clocks, clocks. I hoped the wine tour would ensue after all of the damn clocks, but to no avail. You can only imagine how titillating a clock museum might be. As I left, the woman who gave me the tour said: “So…do you really like clocks or something?” No, no AND NO.
Above are the pics of my day in Jerez that you will probably find as interesting as I found the clock tour :)