Cadiz (2)

Lesley & Derek Mercer
Wed 24 Aug 2011 20:18
Have had a good couple of days in Cadiz.  It turned out to be one of our better stops – we enjoyed the city, and the marina was fine at the end of the day, with everything you need and a rather laid back attitude to life.
I can’t resist showing you the sign for the waiting pontoon which we tied up to:
How true!
Yesterday, we decided to walk into town.  A mistake.  It is about a kilometre to get to town along the jetty, with no shade etc...  Once into town, we managed to get totally lost, and spent about 2 hours wandering around seeing bits and pieces.  In many ways this was ideal as it gave us a real taste of the city.  Cadiz became rich and famous in the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries on the back of their navy exploring the “new world”.  There was untold wealth in those days and they built a wonderful city which they are only now beginning to exploit for tourism.  There are very few non Spanish people here, and they are mostly off the cruise ships which call in here regularly.  Here are some of the wonderful places we saw:
Ornamental gardens:
Fountain with Lesley, and see the MASSIVE tree
Lesley admiring tiles in someone’s entrance porch:
One of the things we had come to realise, is that the “roads”, most of which are pedestrianised, are deliberately very narrow with tall buidings either side.  This means that they are almost always in shade.  It is only during “siesta time” i.e. 2 pm to 4 pm, that the sun actually reaches the street, and then everyone is asleep!  The real activity takes place after 7 pm, be it shopping for handbags, the visit to Carrefour, or a meal out.  A typical “street”:
(Sorry about exposure).
Our second day was much more successful – we took the bikes and covered much more ground.  Visited the old cathedral, the fort etc... I will not bore you with photos, you can see this classic places yourself at any time.  What we really enjoyed was seeing the ornamental gardens which are not listed in the tourist guide to the city, the coffee with churros (a sort of pastry we discovered in Las Palmas last year) under the cool trees around a fountain, the playground for “seniors” so that they can keep fit (!), the buzz of the city after 8 pm when all and sundry come out to play1
Our other success was lunch.  The restaurants do “menu del dia” for 8 to 10 Euros which consists of 3 courses and a glass of wine.  We had one on each day, and they are terrific.  We have become an expert on choosing restaurants.  It is not the restaurant that matters, it is the waitress.  We would always choose one who is not overweight, but also not too slim – she must enjoy her food!  After that, we trust her judgement as to which of the choices from the 2 options on the menu are worth having.  Each time we have come up trumps.  Fabulous tomato soup with ham etc... (delicious, much better than words can describe) followed by delicate white fish with red cabbage and ratatouille ( again scrumptious). 
We leave tomorrow.  Lesley doesn’t know it yet, but I am heading for Barbate and then La Linea.  Experts will know that La Linea is next to Gibraltar, and there are Easyjet and Monarch flights to London from there.  She needs a break from this cruising life.
I will keep you posted!