CAMINO MOZARABE: Merida to Merida 20th March

14km (without getting anywhere)

It’s just as well I’m heading home. My boots are finished. The soles are so worn that there are loads of holes that little stones keep getting in. More strap fixings on my rucksack have given up and it’s held together with baler twine. On the techie side of things my data allowance is running out and my charging lead has got very iffy. 

I’ve been exploring the ancient Roman city of Emerita Augusta, capital of Lusitania, one of the three provinces of Hispania and now, as Merida, the capital city of Extremadura. Big areas are fenced off and semi excavated- other architectural remains have had office blocks built on pillars above them. It’s a bit of a culture/ history clash at times but the modern city does its thing while accommodating layers of the past. 

It’s not just a Roman past on show either. Visigoths, Moors and then Catholic Spanish have all left their mark here and you buy replicas of all of it. 

There’s so much stuff here it’s left lying around on roundabouts. 

I started my sightseeing with the Acueducto de Los Milagros

before moving on to the Museo de arts Romano, a building that incorporates a 2000 year old housing estate in its basement. 

Just around the corner was the Ampiteatro with ahead of its time street lighting

past some baths

and the Portico del Foro

to the temple of Diana

The Puente Romano, spanning the Rio Guadiana,

is pretty impressive

The entrance to the Moorish citadel Alcazabe not quite so

Next door government offices are built over Edificio Multiple

So that has saved you the bother of visiting Merida. 

It felt strange to be walking about without a rucksack and I can hardly manage without my poles now. It felt very wrong to be going on the opposite direction to the yellow arrows- but I’m still watching out for them. 

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