Está lunes - está cerrado

My very amiable host took me out on his errands in the new town this morning, speaking mixtures of Spanish, Portuguese and English. Then I went to find my own way round the old fortified stone town built on a hill, overlooking plains to distant mountains. The colours, bare stone and white, are a striking change from the shades of ochre of my recent stops. Here are blocks of granite, rocks of ironstone and quartz, and small sharp chunks of whatever was to hand, including brick, pushed into the now-crumbling mortar back when it was wet. Almost every building has a coat of arms carved into it which must have been pretty hard work in the granite.

Despite streets that suddenly change direction, leading into odd-shaped plazas, and steps going between the parts that streets can't join, I found it fairly easy to get my bearings. 

I couldn't climb any towers or visit the large cistern as I've timed my visit here badly - almost everything is closed on Mondays, as elsewhere in Spain - but I did go into a small and extremely dusty old Arab house which had an internal steam bath and an indoor well. While I was there, a large group of tourists came in, took quick panoramic videos of every room, then left without actually looking at anything. What happens to those videos next? Mystifying. 


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