We woke up this morning to a thick sea mist and headed for Cadiz.
Almost entirely surrounded by water, jutting into the bay of Cadiz, Cadiz lays claim to being Europe’s oldest city. Cadiz is made up of two parts, the compact Old Town and the sprawling New Town. Most of the Old Town’s architecture dates back to the early 18th and 19th Centuries, when Cadiz rose to prominence as a cargo port.
Parking is not easy in Cadiz with anything larger than a car but we did manage to find one car park that could accommodate larger vehicles and is located just off Avenida Doctor Gomez Ulla, next to Castilla de Santa Catalina.
The mist lifted and we walked through the Old Town’s narrow streets in search of various sites to see as instructed by the guide book.
We found Plaza de San Antonio and took a peek inside Iglesia de San Antonio. All churches in Spain appear to be very ornate with lots of side alters and crypts mostly depicting the crucifixion of Christ and his suffering, amazing stained glass and wonderful vaulted ceilings, some of which are ornately painted.
We walked to Plaza de Espana and Plaza de San Juan de Dios with the wonderful Ayuntamiento (Town Hall to you and me), which we were able to take a look inside and view the marble staircase. Also in this Plaza is the Hospital de Mujeres that was built as a hospital for women arriving in the port, many seeking a passage on boats to the Americas, who got sick and frequently died in the doorways and colonnades of public buildings. We took a look inside the hospital chapel dedicated to San Francisco. We carried on and came to the Puertas de Tierra (Land Gates) a remnant of the eighteenth-century walls and then continued to the Catedral Nueva and Plaza de las Flores, which is a riot of colours most days as this is where the many flower sellers have their stalls and where you can also find the early twentieth-century Correros (post office).
We continued our walk back along the seafront passing the Playa de la Caleta, sandwiched between the sea fortifications of Castillo de San Catalina and Castillo de San Sebastian.
Visiting large towns and cities is not one of Tony’s favourite past times and the weather turned out absolutely beautiful today, 25C, making it even more a hardship for him as he would rather have been on a beach! Still we managed a good 3 hours and felt like we had walked for miles by the time we got back to the van for lunch.
We left Cadiz and headed for our next campsite just across the water from Cadiz in El Puerto de Santa Maria which is well known for the excellent seafood and tapas served at the restaurants along the main promenade. It is also home to many Sherry Bodegas and is famous for its bullring, Plaza de Toros, built in 1880.
If the weather stays fine we may stay on the coast a couple more days before heading inland to Seville. (Tony’s not going to like it!).