The land of sherry.

Jerez de la Frontera is famous for the production of sherry and for the Equestrian School of Art. We stayed at the Hotel Exe Guadalete which is just out of the centre towards the equestrian school. The hotel was nice enough with a decent pool.
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Arriving on a Sunday we found that many things were closed so our afternoon was spent wandering around viewing things from the outside including the rather impressive Alcazar. We stopped off for tapas at a place with no translations meaning we ended up ordering some things we didn’t entirely plan to. The portions we had were massive also, far too much food for just two people. Walking was made treacherous by the fact there was dog poo all over the streets, absolutely everywhere!! Not the nicest thing to have to contend with.
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We booked a session in the Banos Arabes (Arabian baths) with a 15 min aromatherapy massage in the evening. This was the perfect relaxing experience. The 3 pools of varying temperatures, the camomile tea and eucalyptus massage were just what we needed after the previous two evenings festivities. We followed this by visiting Tabanaco Plateros which was a sherry and tapas bar. It was filled with locals and provided food and drink for very reasonable prices, we did a double take when we got the bill it was that cheap.
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Monday is also not the best day to explore in Andalusia it appears. Many of the museums are also closed on this day. The sherry bodegas were open though so we headed off for a tour of the Sandemans bodega. There were various options for the tour which all included a guide taking you round the bodega giving information on the sherry making process followed by a tasting session of your choice. For 14 euros each we opted for the “old and rare” tasting. Sherry it turns out is just standard wine but gets its name purely because it is fermented and produced in Jerez, much like port in Portugal. Sandemans specialises in drier sherries but our tasting involved 4 types getting sweeter; I particularly enjoyed the drier 2, Fraser enjoyed the sweeter 2. It was a very interesting tour and we were both a bit tipsy by the end of the tasting, highly recommended.
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We tried to go into the Equestrian Art School grounds after the bodega tour but it was just closing at 13.30, not 14.00 as stated on the website, so we missed out on that which was disappointing. We then headed off to Seville.

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