logo Lady Stardust Faro-Portugal to Barcelona - 2010
Date: 29 Jul 2010 18:15:00
Title: Cadiz

Thursday 29th July – Cadiz


It was quite rough in the night.  I woke up a few times during Paul’s watch. The bow was being lifted out of the water by the waves and crashing back down and lifting me up as it did so! Meanwhile, Paul had engine trouble to deal with.  Every hour or so it slowed right down until it seemed it was going to stall, then it gradually worked itself back up to speed.  Paul wouldn’t be able to check out what the problem was properly until we got to Cadiz.  Luckily the autohelm coped with keeping us on course when the speed dropped.  It was quite chilly and wet when I went up just after 4 and the sea was still rough but it wasn’t freezing cold. Not a good sunrise due to clouds and haziness.  As we drew nearer to Cadiz more fishing boats appeared and the fishermen on one of them made angry gestures at me, either for being too close (which I didn’t think I was) or for flying the Portuguese flag because we’d forgotten to change our courtesy flag.  At 10am we made our way into the marina, passing a wall where a row of men had lines in the water. They, too made angry gestures and shouted as we passed – perhaps we disturbed the fish because we hadn’t damaged their lines.


The marina isn’t very pretty but has everything we need, including a laundry.  I made us a huge much-needed breakfast once we were securely berthed and then we tidied the boat and freshened up before setting off to explore Cadiz.  It claims to be the oldest city in Europe and was described by Byron as the loveliest city he’d ever beheld! I bet that was before he’d seen Venice.  On the way out of the marina I was lucky enough to find a 50 euro note on the ground.  It’s very industrial by the marina but in the distance we could see lovely-looking buildings in the old part of town.  We were ready for a cold drink when we reached the outskirts of town 30 minutes later and then we followed the map to find the places we’d picked out to visit.  The first of these was the Plaza de Espana which is a lovely park in an elegant square which has an impressive monument to commemorate Cadiz’s constitution in 1812. 

There were beautiful plants, ornate fountains and exotic trees where I spotted green parrots perched on the branches. 

Further in town we went to the museum of Cadiz which was more enjoyable for being so cool inside than for being interesting – although there were some fascinating marionettes on the third floor.  They were very scary-looking and some were wielding axes dripping with blood - think Punch and Judy serial killers in a horror film. 

The pretty streets were mainly empty due to the heat so we had good views of the long, narrow streets (sailors’ alleyways) and the high turreted houses that form the old town – truly lovely. At about 5 we climbed to the top of Cadiz Cathedral via a spiral staircase. It’s the tallest building in Cadiz, built in 1722, and was quite a strenuous climb which made us realise how unfit we are – especially in the searing heat.  The views from the top made it worthwhile though.




 The narrow streets began to fill up in the evening and the designer shops, gift shops, cafes and restaurants became more crowded. We found a lovely restaurant slightly off the main square that boasted vegetarian specialities – not something you see much of in Spain.  The meal was lovely – we particularly enjoyed the delicious fried potatoes in peanut sauce and the aubergine pie.


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