Cádiz, Spain

                                           Gonzáles Byass Sherry House (Home of Tio Pepe Sherry)

October 22, 2009

From Morocco, we returned to Spain, at Cádiz.  Once again our tour just drove us through the city - our destination was Jérez de la Frontera, a beautiful city somewhat inland from Cádiz.  The ride to Jérez was scenic, and the city looked really nice right from the start.  Jérez de la Frontera is famous for two reasons.  First, it is the area where ‘real’ sherry is produced (read ‘real’ as in the only real champagne coming from the Champagne region in France.)  Second, it is the home of the Royal Andalusian Riding School.  This is similar to the one in Vienna, Austria, with the Lippizanner horses, which were partly derived from the Andalusian breed used at the Royal Andalusian School of Equestrian Arts (the formal name).  We were fortunate to be there on a Tuesday, when they put on their show, and it was spectacular.  Almost everything those horses have been trained to do goes totally against horse nature.

 Unfortunately we were not allowed to take photos during the show, but a great number of flashes went off during the last routine, despite that rule.  We find it sad that people let their desire for souvenir photos override their respect for rules.  The horses could be easily spooked by the flashes.  Susan was interested to see this show because she’d been to the Spanish Riding School in Vienna back in 1967.  This was at least as good, and possibly better - her memory is a bit fuzzy.  The one noticeable difference is that some of the horses were brown, but most of them were the gray/spotted horses that turn whiter as they age.  Watching the horses, it was easy to tell which ones were more experienced.  It is also unfortunate that we were not given time to pick up any souvenirs.

After the horse show we headed for the Gonzales-Byass Bodega, which is the home of Tio Pepe sherry.  They have the largest weather vane in the world, and in our opinion, possibly the worst sherry (that particular brand - they did have some sweeter ones that were quite nice).  We had a tour of the whole place, where we saw barrels with signatures of famous people, and ones that were dedicated to various royal personages.  The tasting was the final part of the tour.  Following this we boarded our bus and headed back to the ship.  

This was a quite enjoyable tour, and one we would recommend, especially if you can go on the day they do the horse show.  That one has to be seen to be believed.

There are more photos here.

© Susan L. Stone 2015                   rovingstones@me.com