Please dial 9 for an outside line….

I’m not a fan of audio guides when going round museums or houses. I find them unfriendly, ugly and rarely useful. I’d sooner have a plan and read about the exhibits when I get to a certain point. So, I was particularly displeased when we visited the Alcazar today and we were presented with an item about the same size and weight as a first generation mobile phone. It lasted until we got to #1, where it persisted in a condescending tone to inform me about #3. It remained in my pocket for the rest of the visit, ready to assault any tourist who dared to cross my path.

We’d begun our day at Pan Y Pui 2, as I’m calling their new branch, with pain aux chocolate, orange juice and coffee. Thus refreshed, we waited in the apartment until we deemed it time to try and join the ‘pre booked’ queue outside the Alcazar entrance. Watching from the sidelines it seemed to diminish quite quickly and Susie asked the attendant when we could line up ourselves for the noon entrance. No sooner did she ask than we were whisked through the metal detector, given the dreaded audio guides and off we went. To say the Alcazar is wonderful is rather an understatement. In some ways I prefer it to the Alhambra. It’s smaller and more intimate in a way.

The Moorish detailing on each arch, stone and tile was superb. The later additions by Spanish monarchs were impressive but a little too ornate and fussy for my taste. I found myself drawn to recording small details, close ups of relief work and door carvings.

We ended the tour with a walk round the ornamental gardens which were largely laid out to Moorish designs of fountains and flowing water. It was all quite magical. We handed the guides back in at the exit, pleased to be rid of them. I tried to order a pizza on mine but sadly it didn’t work..

We had lunch at a very touristy tapas bar, where the drinks and cutlery were thrown on the table and made our way back to the apartment. It rained for a while and then we had a quick meal at Bar Europa…which reminds me, European Football. England beat Spain  3 – 2 tonight….We’ll be keeping our native tongue to the minimum tomorrow methinks..

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