(Ooops! Just realised that I posted this on the wrong blog - something I'll not be able to rectify until I find a wifi signal when I have my laptop to hand.)
Where’s Colin? He’s not moved a single inch from yesterday.
Oranges and lemons! Never have I seen so many! Our morning started by walking down lanes bordered by fields of lemon trees (which, incidentally, hold an awful lot of lemons per tree*) to the nearby village of Alquerias, where we caught a bus which took us along streets lined with orange trees to the city of Murcia, whose pavements are also the home to lines of orange trees, like this:
We had a few things to see in Murcia so having located the cathedral…
…and stopped for coffee/tea in the square from which the above photo was taken, we decided to leave the inside of the cathedral until later, due to my mistaken belief that it was open all day, whereas I knew that the furthest-away museum would close from 2pm to 5pm.
So, off we went to the Museo Arqueologico, which is somewhere I wouldn’t have been fussed about seeing if there had been an entrance fee, but as it was free thought we may as well have a quick look. It turned out to be surprisingly interesting, such that we spent a good chunk of time there, and undoubtedly would have been even better if we could have understood any of the displayed information. (Actually, there were an awful lot of words that even as non-Spanish speakers we could take a guess at, and thus we were able to get the gist of most of the exhibits, with Google Translate filling in some of the gaps when we were particularly intrigued by something.)
Purely based on their locations around the city we opted for the Museo de Bellas Artes next, where the first two floors, displaying 16th and 17th century renaissance art, really weren’t my cup of tea, but I did like the top floor, which was mainly 19th century.
By this time we re-emerged on the street, the bells were chiming 2pm and I was ready to eat a scabby dog, so it was back to the cathedral square for a Menu del Dia which we’d eyed up earlier in the day. Two huge mixed salad starters (I’m sure I’ve been served smaller salad main courses), the main courses shown below, a pudding each, a drink each, followed by a coffee each, all for €11 a head. I knew that there were bargainacious menus del dia to be had in Spain, but I’m still taken aback by the quantities.
As you may be able to tell, the sun was shining as I took that photo at our outside table, and at the point that we sat down there had been no sign of the showers which had been forecast for today. Then it started to get a bit dark to the south and we’d barely dipped our spoons into our puddings when the rain started. Canopies were quickly deployed by the waiters and by the time we got onto coffee we were sitting in a fully enclosed outdoor room, complete with a heater. Within a quarter of an hour, the sun was back and stayed for the rest of the day.
Having lunched about 30 paces from the entrance to the cathedral, it was apparent that it was no longer open, scuppering my post-lunch plan. A double check of the guide book told me that I’d misread, and rather than being open all day it actually closes from 1pm until 6pm. It wasn’t going to be feasible to hang around (to have to walk the little roads back to the campsite in the dark), so off we went for a walk along the river before catching the next bus back. By way of some sort of public transport torture, on this perfectly warm day the bus had the heating on full blast, together with a temperature display to tell us we were sweating uncomfortably in a stuffy 26 degrees.
It was gone 5pm when we got back to Colin, finding that he’d been joined during the day by neighbours on both sides. Don’t they make him look tiny?!
This Commercial Aire is split into two compounds and I’m calling ours the French Enclave, as that is the nationality of the majority of the occupants, with the remainder being one Dutch, one Belgian, one Irish and us.
(*some of those lemon trees also held oranges, we assume by virtue of some grafting having gone on, rather than by a freak of nature.)