The March of Time.

by tim 7. May 2012 16:17
7.5 Monday. Merida.
We are only 16km from Merida in Torremejia so when we start at 7.30 a leisurely day is expected, the sun rises and barely shines through high cloud, rain threatens and withdraws, a perfect day for walking. The route is much better free of the land of mud, though a 24hrs without rain helps. We see a flock (well more than a dozen) storks in a field they fly as we approach, harrier and a couple of black kites are also looking for breakfast. Passing a triangulation point of the spanish IGN whose maps Tony dowloaded free and which we use from our phones every day, we see Merida and descendto the river where the roman bridge of 40 plus arches spans the Rio Guadiana which then flows to Badejoz and on into Portugal. It is now a foot bridge having a rest after 2000 yrs of use and repair by Visgoths, Moors, Christians and modern spain and one of the best entrys to any town on Caminos. On the right after crossing is the Alcazar (fortress constructed by the Moorish government in Cordoba in 800ish afyer putting down a rebellion). We have a beer, find lodgings and visit it. It has the lot, from roman streets, a Moorish water cistern (filled by filtering through rock and soil from the river 30m away now with goldfish), to more recent additions from 16C and the current Extramadura Ajuntamiento (offices). All of these use bits of previous buildings in their construction (except the BC dated bit of Roman street!) together with ashlars (word of the day) lying arround in bits of gardens, resulting in a delightful historical hodgepodge of a place with great views of the bridge. After some lunch we retreat via the temple of Diana (even more historical mixture) and the Trajan Arch (agreed to be roman bit not much else, apart from huge), to our room in the Hostal Senero to clean up and siesta.
More history later!


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