Mennems in Murcia!March 12, 2019 in Spain ⋅ ☀️ 17 °C
From our base at Lo Monte campsite in Pilar de la Horadada, on the Mar Menor, we were only a few miles from friends Michelle and Shaun, whom we had met the previous year when skiing in the Sierra Nevada. A lovely catch up and lunch next to the beach was followed by a surprise visit to see Orlando, Michelle's ex-racehorse. Eager to show us what a beauty he is, she asked if we would like to ride him. It wasn't for me, not being very confident around horses, but Chris was very happy to switch from a motorbike saddle to a horse saddle for a walk around the paddock.
It was also a great base from which to visit the city of Murcia on the banks of the Rio Segura. What a gem of a city it is; small enough to visit on foot, full of beautiful architecture and elegance, and delicious tapas.
The 1748 baroque facade of the Catedral de Santa Maria reminded us of our time in Sicily, though this had originally been built in 1394 on the site of a mosque, like most of the cathedrals and churches in Spain. Whilst the interior was impressive, the chapels, choir and main altar were all behind black iron railings which gave a feeling of oppression rather than welcome. We found that very strange.
Next we visited the Real Casino de Murcia (Royal Casino), which opened as a gentlemen's club in 1847, and remains so though the ground floor is open to the public. It has quite recently been restored to its former glory and given the Royal seal of approval by King Juan Carlos. The building is a melting pot of different designs and an audio guide navigated us through a colourful Moorish-style patio, a classic English-style library with 20,000 books, a ballroom with glittering chandeliers, and a ladies powder room with a ceiling fresco of cherubs and angels.
Feeling peckish, we headed over to Piazza San Pedro which was buzzing with restaurants and tapas bars. We ordered a selection of impressive tapas including a mouth-watering ceviche that we could have eaten over and over again, cod with pork fat crumb and squid-ink sauce, and croquettes of mushrooms and black pudding. All delicious.Read more