Bits of the old Roman road

It’s not all fun and games here. I brought along my Bookkeeping for Dummies book and I’m getting a handle on bookkeeping. Bookkeeping has always been like that big dark tunnel in Béjar – terror inducing. But last year I asked for help before I stepped inside and although it’s work it’s working out ok.

Inside the amphitheater

Today we are in the old Roman (in Spain) town of Mérida. It was originally called Emerita Augusta (Mérida for short) and was founded by the Emperor Caesar Augustus in 25 BC. It’s full of the ruins of 2000 year old buildings, medieval buildings and museum buildings. We got up early to keep cool and were first in the gate at 9 am to visit some of the oldest buildings. By 11.30am it was hot and we’d only seen three, you would seriously need a week to visit everything. We’ll just have to come back.

The stage of the theatre

We saw the Anfiteatro (Amphitheater) where the games took place, gladiators fighting each other and animals. The Teatro (Theatre) where plays were staged and civic ceremonies held. And the Casa del Anfiteatro (houses beside the Amphitheater) where you could see detailed mosaic tiles, some interior room decorations, a bath house, original water pipes and a kitchen stove. Everything in this area had been buried in the early 1900’s and when the unburying of the amphitheatre and the theatre started they cleared the debris off to the side not realising they were burying these houses deeper. It was only decades later when one of the mosaic floors was discovered that they realised what was underneath. Everywhere you walk in Mérida there are pieces of history, right beside the motorhome park there’s a field full of house shaped brick walls and in one of the pedestrian shopping streets there’s a preserved roman street made of large flag stones.

You might be able to spot the painted wall decoration and to the rear of that are water pipes

I don’t blame them for losing the houses, it’s hard to see what’s right under your feet sometimes. We have passed through Spain so many times and missed amazingly interesting places every time. We met a Swiss couple yesterday who were on their first motorhome journey to Spain and they had planned everything. Then in their first week they binned their plans when they met a Spanish man at a park up who filled in their map with every beautiful place he could think of in his country. Mérida was one of those places. The Swiss man handed me his phone to look at his pictures of two others, Córoba and Toledo, just a bit too far from where we though we were going but very tempting.

A section of the mosaics

For the rest of this week I’m going back into the bookkeeping tunnel I hope to uncover some hidden mosaics myself… I’ll let you know how it goes. Wish me luck.