To say I was excited about Mérida is a bit of an understatement. Roman Iberia, in all its wonder. And the ruins did not disappoint. The amphitheatre and theatre are spectacular, but a lot of the rest is ruined – which may seem obvious, but when you traipse around the city in the July heat to the next place on the map, it is a little disappointing to encounter a cluster of bricks where a wall once stood. A lot of the sights are in the open air, which means sunblock is a must in the summer. The Roman villa has a covering, more to protect the fabulous mosaics than visitors, but the excavations are fascinating. The famous Alcazaba is bleak and blasted inside, an open dusty space with a few buildings and some battlements. The cistern is interesting and indicates their incredible engineering skills.