The guide books rave about Cáceres. The old town's cobbled streets twist and turn and climb among ancient stone walls lined with palaces and mansions. High up ate towers and turrets, spires and gargoyles and everywhere are storks' nests complete with this year's new pair. Everything looks untouched since its heyday of the 16th century. While everything is extraordinary, it is not a place where many people live - they all live in the newer town surrounding it. There are few, if any, restaurants, bars or shops, any of the things that add vibrancy to a city, and as a consequence it feels rather dull. We explored a couple of museums, one with armoury and another with paintings, furniture, glass and silver, as well as the bigger Museum of Cáceres with its treasures of prehistory, the Bronze Age and later Roman times. Quite well done and thankfully with some English on the explanations. Underneath the 16th century palacio is a 12th century cistern built by the Moors, the only surviving element of Cáceres' Muslim castle. Adjacent in a couple of rooms were some nice Picassos and Miros.
Time for a late lunch and we settled on a restaurant in the Plaza Major with a Menu del Dia - three courses plus a glass of wine for €12. The waiter was an extraordinary man, manic one minute, singing the next. We waited an age to get a menu, then for him to take our order, while he attended to other who arrived after us. We thought it was because we were obviously tourists, but others, Spanish speakers, got the same treatment, so we weren't exactly special. Lunch tasted OK but it was lukewarm only. After waiting another age for our sweets, he threw some 'pudding' which we hadn't chosen down on the table. His antics were all wearing a bit thin, and with some annoyance on our part and a threat to walk out without paying we got a result. We were asked what we wanted for sweets and we got it. Needless to say, he earned no tip.
The bus back to the camp was to leave town on the hour every hour. Having some time to spare, we wandered through some parks and returned to the bus stop at about half past the hour. Within minutes the bus arrived! Unsurprisingly we were the only ones on board. So much for timetables…