Sunday, 29 July 2012

Clapping the sunset

Day 96 27.07.12 Cadiz

Jurassic park (sort of), Cadiz On awaking we head out to have another look around Ecija since the previous day didn’t really do it justice.  Whilst there’s not a huge amount to see it’s a very pleasant place to spend some time.  We go and have a look at a couple of the towers we’d missed the day before and nip inside one of the more impressive churches for a look around.  After more wifi and food shopping we hit the road to Cadiz.

It’s a long drive but there isn’t really any reason to stop along the route so we make a break for it.  We’ve missed the sea and especially the sea breeze so we can’t wait to get there.  The drive isn’t too bad until we reach Cadiz itself.  The main bridge into town is undergoing work so it’s down to one crawling lane.  On the other side we’re met with a bigger problem…parking.  Cadiz has a massive parking problem – in that there is hardly any.  There are a few underground car parks but nobody wants to pay for a space so the streets are lined both sides with cars, many of which look to have been there a long time.  There’s no way we’ll find a free legal spot so we park up in a ‘motorbike and scooter only’ stretch and hope for the best. 

Tall ship race Cadiz 2012It’s amazing to be back by the sea.  After the last little in the sweltering inland heat, the clean and fresh sea breeze is utter bliss.  Cadiz is a place that makes you feel instantly relaxed.  The last few stops have had a few dodgy people here and there and some of the seedier undertones of a big city.  In comparison Cadiz has a safe community feel. 

We discover in town that there is an international tall ship race soon and go to check out the boats all lined up around the marina.  They are utterly huge and very impressive.  It’s ridiculously busy though so we plan to return later.

Cadiz skyline
The main square is very pretty with a gold domed cathedral and some nearby Roman ruins.  The city is full of parks including a huge one full of dinosaur sculptures!  There is a beautiful area with waterfalls into a large pond and flowers galore.  All the while walking around it you can see out across the gorgeous blue sea.   

Given that the narrow shape of Cadiz’s old town it’s easy to find your way around, making it feel familiar very quickly.  There are lots of attractive buildings and squares to look at including a magnificent art deco house and some lovely churches. 

In the evening we head out to watch the sunset.  I’ve been surprised and a little disappointed in most places by how few people seem to do this, but not in Cadiz.  There are a huge number of locals out to watch the sun set over the sea and it’s a phenomenal sight.  As the last sliver of sun disappeared the crowd applauded.  It was an incredibly touching moment and one that will endear Cadiz to me forever.

Sunset in Cadiz, Spain

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