The weather remains a little on the cool and breezy side, but not too bad. I was quite comfortable wearing a sweater during the afternoon.
We had another busy but enjoyable day.
We finally found a place for breakfasts that works for both of us: Albores. We have eaten lunch there many times over the years, but we did not realize thy also do desayuno (breakfast). As I was working my way through the menu, Patricia asked for an English menu. The waitress went away and in a moment brought another waiter—one who could speak English. He was the English menu. He helped us sort out the right way to order mollete (toasted bread plus things like tomato, avocado, and ham). We ended up with a good, and inexpensive, breakfast. He kindly let me order my food in Spanish, although he did point out “la tortilla no es la misma en España que en Estados Unidos” telling me that tortillas in Spain are not the same thing as they are in the U.S. Here they are what I would call omelets. [Tortilla Española is a special case with eggs and potatoes and nothing like an omelet.]
Later on we met up with a guide for a market and walking tour. Fortunately, we were the only ones on the tour, so we had her undivided attention. Amarita is from England, but now live in Jerez so she can study flamenco. That meant we had a lot in common. So, instead of visiting more-or-less standard locations, she took us to several flamenco-related locations, telling us stories about Jerez as we walked. She also pointed out several Jerezanos who were well-known flamenco performers.
Holy Week (Semana Santa) begins on April 5th, but the preparations for Semana Santa are beginning now. Churches are sprucing up and the frames for floats and the statues that will ride on them are being brought out of storage even now. Thus, when we walked around Iglesia San Miguel one of the rear doors was open, which is unusual. We could see people, locals for the most part, going into the church. Usually one must pay an entrance fee to get in. So we went in and saw that they were laying out things for Holy Week.
As it happened the light was streaming through the high stained glass in a way that created “beams” of light that showed up in the dusty interior. I was able to get some good pictures. This church was commissioned by Ferdinand and Isabella in 1484. We were in it a couple of years ago when the wind was blowing so hard that the interior doors opened and closed on their own and the wind created howling sounds in the roof. With the dark Gothic interior and the unusual sounds, it was almost spooky. But not today; the interior was bright and and we could see quite well.
The rest of our walk with Amarita took us past a number of flamenco-related sites, including the small school where she takes lessons. We ended up at the Tabanco el Pasaje, where she had arranged a table for us to eat tapas, drink sherry, and watch flamenco. The tabanco is quite small and we were very close to the stage. The flamenco wasn’t great, but it was enjoyable. At a tabanco, you can just come in and watch. You won’t get a very good view, though. If you buy a drink, you get a little closer. If you reserve a table and order food, you get the best view.
We met Dennis at Teatro Villamarta and walked to Sala Paúl to see Carmen Hererra in a show she called “La Luz Que Me Alumbra” (“The light that illuminates me”) and she was indeed “illuminated” from within. It was a good performance with a variety of styles and a variety of music, including a small brass band. Patricia observed that Carmen Hererra was confident in her skills and herself.
It was a short performance, but that gave us a chance to get to La Vega, near Villamarta, for a round of deserts before our next performance.
Now, about that next performance: we did not enjoy it at all. We should have lingered over desert and been late to the theater. The artist was Olga Pericet and the show was called “Un Cuerpo Infinito” (“An Infinite Body”). What we saw was Olga moving in time to weird music. My guess is that she was demonstrating the “music of the spheres” because she was moving around on a picture of the solar system placed on the stage floor. There was a little bit of flamenco, but not much. There were other odd scenes such as 3 people dressed in spacesuits who walked very slowly (as in low gravity) across the stage before removing the spacesuit and helmet from Olga.
While I was watching the show, I was asking myself if I was missing something and if I should be enjoying the performance. Talking with others afterwards I found that other people couldn’t make much sense of the performance either. In the synopsis it said “Olga Pericet conjura una rede de pensadores del movimiento y pensadores en movimiento.” which I took to mean “she conjures a network of thoughts about movement and thoughts in motion.” It was too abstract for me to follow, that’s for sure.
Our final show of the day (the fourth, if you are keeping count) was at La Guarida el Angel. Once again La Guarida was packed with even the standing room areas overcrowded. But we heard a very good cante set by Israel Fernandez accompanied by Diego del Morao. Israel’s voice was very pleasant to listen to and I am sorry my Spanish was not up to the task of completely understanding the stories he was telling because his ability to evoke emotion with his voice and movements was impressive. Our apartment is only a short walk from the venue so we were back by 12:30.