Destination: Cadiz, Spain
Where we stayed: Crown Princess
Best of: A picnic on the square of flowers complete with aged manchego cheese, proscuitto, a baguette & wine. Heavenly!
Worst of: I can't think of anything about this little town that we didn't like. Most people on the cruise use this as the jumping off spot for Seville, but we felt it had a lot of charm on it's own
Cadiz, Spain is the oldest constantly inhabited city in all of western Europe. While it's more well known city to the north, Seville, gets most of the attention, Cadiz has a nice charm on its own. The tourism board has went out of it's way to promote the town and it shows. The Tourist Information center actually set up on the ship giving out maps and guided walks. All along the old part of Cadiz colored lines run this way and that indicating walking trails. Aside from the lines, the city itself is on an isthmus, making it compact and surrounded by the ocean on three sides. It's virtually impossible to get lost.
We started out on the path that leads all the way around the city along it's fortified walls. The walls serve as a reminder to the cities importance as a harbor during the Moorish ruled years of Spain. Evidence of Islamic style and decor remain today on a lot of the buildings.
After checking out the wall, outposts and forts that protected the city back in the day, it was time to move into the heart of the city and check out its hopping market. We picked up some aged Manchego (sheep's milk cheese - a Spanish delight!) some proscuitto and some fresh olives from the market. After hitting up the supermarket across the street for some bread and wine (in juice boxes and .33 eurocents each - $.50 US), our picnic was complete. We took our meal out to the flower market and surrounded by flower vendors, and the steady flow of tour groups, enjoyed our meal. Picnic's are one of the great things to do if there are not laws against it. Not only can you eat a lot cheaper than restaurants, but it usually comes with a view, great food and it's a great way to people watch.
After our great lunch, we climbed to the top of a tower that had a Camera Obscura. The views from the top of the tower were great, but the camera was interesting as well. Set up with a periscope and mirrors, the image is reflected onto a circular disk and the operator is able to zoom in and out giving you a real picture as it happens. They can even zoom into street level so much that you could recognize the people that were walking by...it you know them that is.
We made one last stop at the city's cathedral. Sadly, the place is in need of repair as the ceiling was nearly completely covered in a net to catch falling pieces. The crypt had a mini dome with excellent acoustics. I also couldn't resist "phoning" God. Ok, so it's really a coin operated "tour guide" giving you a brief description of the church, but hey, it's fun any ways. Hmmm, I wonder if he would accept a collect call?
Next stop: Casablanca, Morocco and our first steps on African soil.