So, last week my mom was all like “did you publish that last post by mistake?” I’m like “huh?” And she said something like, “well, you didn’t tell people you were going to Spain.” So, newsflash, after our Great American Road Trip ended and while our contractor continued to very slowly work on our house, we went to Spain for about seven weeks. (The plan was that the renovations to our house would be done when we got back but, as you can probably guess, that didn’t happen.) We started in Madrid, then went to La Herradura, Nerja, Seville, Malaga, Granada, Cordoba, and back to Madrid. After an oh so fun 20 seconds of having a swab stuck up our noses to ensure we didn’t have covid, we returned to New Orleans a few days ago. There won’t be a ton of posts about Spain (for example, there is really nothing to say about La Herradura other than please don’t go there because we don’t want it ruined by the next time we visit). But, there will be a few.
If you had asked us in August whether we would go to Spain in 2021, we would have said “of course not.” But, some dear friends were spending time in Spain and suggested we join them. We first met these friends in Vietnam, and have seen them in Malaysia, Thailand, Scotland, France, and the US, so we jumped at a chance to add another country to the list. When they suggested spending some time in Seville, we were game, even though we had spent weeks there in 2019. We love Seville. What isn’t to like? Great scenery, friendly people, and some of the best food we have had anywhere in Spain. (Seriously, go to Eslava and Alfareria 21 if you are ever in Seville.)
But, we knew we would be bored in Seville if we didn’t take a day trip or two. I mean, eating tapas is fun and all, but sometimes you have to actually do something that doesn’t involve food. Hence, we planned a day trip to Jerez.
There are two primary things to do in Jerez. First, see the horses.
Jerez is home to the Fundacion Real Escuela Andaluza del Arte Ecuestre. I know, I know, that is a mouthful, right? Well, in English, that means the Royal Andalusian School of Equestrian Art. Still a mouthful, but a bit better. The Royal Andalusian School of Equestrian Art is managed by the Andalusian government and dedicated to preserving the heritage of Spanish horses.
The horses at the Royal Andalusian School of Equestrian Art can dance. I kid you not. They prance and they twirl and they skip and they leap. It really is quite lovely and the horses are beautiful. The show was amazing. (Note, I did worry about whether the horses were treated well and trained in a humane manner. I couldn’t find anything on-line to suggest that they are treated badly. So, fingers crossed we didn’t inadvertently support something bad.)
The second reason to visit Jerez is even better than horses (well, at least Robert thinks so). It is sherry. Yep, sherry. Sherry is made with green grapes and fortified with grape alcohol. The grapes can only be grown in a small region near the town of Jerez and many sherry producers have bodegas in Jerez where you can get a guided tour and then taste sherry. We visited Tio Pepe, which is one of the most famous sherry producers in Jerez, largely because we only booked our tickets a day or two in advance and many of the other sherry tours were already sold out. Turns out I can’t stand sherry, but apparently Tio Pepe was the first registered trademark in Spain so the old IP attorney in me geeked out a little bit about that.
Robert, on the other hand enjoys sherry, especially oloroso sherry. And, he and our friends divided up my pours so everyone but me walked away happy. But, not to worry, there was wine and tapas to be had in Seville that evening.