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When travelling in Spain there are so many things along your way – there is always the fast way (in most cases the highway) or the entertaining way which asks you to take a break at certain locations or to deviate from the fast route.

Going to Carmona we did both. Carmona is the last destination on the “Paradores leg” of our journey down to Rota, where we are going to “chill” for 10 days in the “Hotel Playa de la Luz” with scheduled day trips to:

  • Cádiz – one of my favourites
  • Córdoba – one of my favourites
  • Seville – definately one of my favourites

But let’s not get ahead of ourselves.

After breakfast we revealed our plan to M. and B. We’d stop at Mérida on our way and show them the “Ancient Roman Theatre / Amfiteatro”. Yet another UNESCO World Heritage Site and a must-see.

After that we would leave the highway at Zafra to take the N-432 to Llenera to then take one of the country roads which crosses the “Sierra Norte de Sevilla”.

We got going after our packing routine and arrived Mérida 10:00ish in the morning. As we had all the baggage in the trunk we parked in a paid open-air parking lot

– but kept Manfred on guard at the cars while I guided M. and B. to the “Roman Theatre” approx. 500 meters up the street.

Please, note: When walking up the street from the public parking you get to a roundabout. Turn right here as this is the shortest and fastest way to the ticket counter.

At the ticket counter I discovered that they had two kind of admitances: “Theatro-only” at EUR 6.50 and “Theatro combined with five other historic sites” for EUR 15.

Even if we visited only two more sites, the crypte of the “Basilika Santa Eulalia” and the “Roman Circus” (both nearby) the ticket would have paid off.

Manfred and I had visited the “Roman Theatre” many years ago on one of our first Paradores Trips – I had forgot how impressive it was.

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Actually it consists of a fight arena for gladiator fights (the bloody entertainment) and the “actual” theatre for ancient play (the sophisticated art of entertainment) – but as so many things, cruelty, violence and refined nourishment for the senses lay very close to each other in ancient Rome.

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The temperatures this day were bearable, the sky was slightly overcast – in other words, there was energy left to visit two more of the historic sites of Mérida.

We strolled back to the car park where Manfred took over our fellow travellers and accompanied them to see the crypte of the “Basilica Santa Eulalia” and the remainders of “Roman Circus”, which – as we all know – was the racetrack, the turf at that time.

Gladiators and Fine Arts in the “Roman Theatre” – horse carriage races in the “Roman Circus”.

As I was not the tour guide there are no photos – however M., B. and Manfred were not too impressed by neither the crypte of the Basilica nor the Circus. We should have selected the “Alcazaba de Mérida” even though this would have been a bit more of a walk.

Back in the car and back on the highway heading south direction Zafra.