by , under expeditions

My head is full of stuff.

We’re so glad we’ve got this apartment: we have a teeny tiny courtyard that’s perfect to sit in and eat and drink delicious things and do nothing (or read, or blog, or talk; we might roleplay but haven’t got round to that yet). Yesterday we found our bearings in the city, today we actually went to things.

Food: still good, except the supermarket sausages that looked okay but turned out to consist mostly of fat and floury filler. The supermarket chicken-and-egg croquettes, and fish croquettes, were much tastier, and we now also have albondigas (meatballs) from the deli department in the fridge for tonight. (update: the packaged meatballs from the small supermarket were actually better; these were quite loose-structured and not so spicy. Both of us can do better than each of these but we don’t have all our resources here.)

We haven’t found the covered market yet though we know it exists, quite close to where we are [ETA: found a covered market, at least, not the one we were looking for. But it was closed, it being miercoles. Wednesday is the Spanish Monday.], but the little supermarket right round the corner and the huge supermarket at less than 10 minutes walk provide amply for our needs. The past couple of days we’ve been going to early Mass, yesterday after breakfast because we were aiming for the one starting at 9:30 but turned out we were catching the end of the 9:00 one in the adjacent other church, which was much nicer both in time and in atmosphere. The church that we found on Sunday night was quite full, children and all, but it’s the Jesus de Gran Poder church, and the Gran Poder is expressed by a huge statue of Christ, dressed in purple, carrying a cross, as if it’s Good Friday. It reminded me of the Passionist church we went to in A Coruña: interesting for one service but I wouldn’t want to go there always. Today we arrived neatly at St. Lawrence’s church at 8:55 (with laundry done!) and had breakfast at a corner cafe.

Wanted to go to Alcazar (not the Alcazar, al- is already “the”, it’s from Arabic اَلْقَصْر al-qaṣr, “the castle” or “the palace”) but there was a queue that looked like it would take hours. (Spouse found out that parts of Game of Thrones were filmed there so apparently lots of people want to see it who otherwise might not be interested.) I’d already tried to book online but they didn’t have any tickets for any of the days we’ll be here, but Spouse tried it without the royal apartments because he thought that might cause the lack of tickets and succeeded in buying two.

After seeing that the cathedral queue was shorter we spent about a quarter of an hour in it without it moving. I lent my pen to a Dutchwoman behind me, but when she was done with it we escaped (to the shadow) and tried to buy tickets online for that and failed because the mobile site is crap. At home on the laptop it did work, but it needed lots of information like Spouse’s passport number! And we need to print the tickets, so have to find an Internet shop tomorrow.

Statue of Pallas Athene

Pallas Athene looking about twelve.

We’d seen something interesting on the way to Alcazar and the cathedral, so we went there instead: the palace of a countess. Splendid! I’d have liked to spend much more time on the upper floor than the guide let us have (also, she pointed out all the “important” things, and there were many more interesting things!). The countess was a great collector, and her house is full of antiquities and fragments of antiquities and restored Roman mosaic floors — she was actually one of the first people to restore mosaics by modern methods. And she wasn’t afraid to have her house altered to accommodate her finds, so there’s an eight-sided room in the middle of the house because she had a huge eight-sided Roman mosaic.

(And somewhat further on we found another casa palacio! That’s only open on Mondays, though, so I took a picture of the sign and it’s easy to find because it’s right opposite the museum)

We had a bocadillo (sandwich bun) with chorizo for lunch, but I misjudged where my plate was because of the intersection of the reading and middle-distance parts of my glasses, and put a half-full glass of wine on the edge of my plate so it fell over and broke. Oops! Pity about the wine, it was excellent, and I don’t know if I dare show my face there again though the food was also excellent.

The Museum of Fine Arts is free for EU citizens! And one of the guards spoke to us in Dutch — his Dutch sounded about as good as our Spanish. We got a bit tired of one Virgen Inmaculada after another, and of yet another St Francis or other male monastic saint having visions or doing penitence, but some of the things were very good indeed: woodcut half-reliefs, some of the paintings even from centuries I don’t usually like the output of (like the nineteenth), Saint Luís looking with disgust at the little dragon rising from his cup, a Virgin and Child where I could see that the Virgin had had the same model as one of the saints in another picture by that painter and the child looked so much like her that the model must have been her own child. We might go again (hey, it’s free! and quiet enough except that you’re likely to be trampled by school parties if you don’t look out) to see just the things we want to see, and take pictures, because we had to put even our small shoulder bags in the locker and forgot to take phone and camera out.

Coming out of the museum we were so thirsty that we sat down in the first place that had shadow and had a large cold beer, and then went to the supermarket and home. So tired that Spouse took an actual siesta on the bed, and I lay down on the couch and must have slept (because I dreamed, and I got up a bit disoriented) but very lightly (because I remember my surroundings, too).

I sort of want to buy a fan, and a purse (they do gorgeous leatherwork here and I need a new one), but not from any of the tourist shops, so I’m keeping my eyes open but I don’t know where to go. Perhaps the online acquaintance I haven’t told yet that I’m here (he knows, anyway) will know a good place.

Added some signs to my collection and posted them on Mastodon, but otherwise saving them for a signage post like the one I made after the previous trip to Spain.

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