We set out towards cadiz with a forecast of rain and after a stop at the charming hilltop fortress town of Zahara for a coffee break we headed towards Acros de la Frontera for a lunch break but due to the rain and lack of visibility we kept on going to Cadiz. Getting there was the easy part but once there the traffic was shocking and we crawled into the old town only to find our access road blocked and police diverting traffic….oh what fun trying to get back into the flow but an hour later we arrived having travelled a total of 2km!
The rest was easy, a parking station just 100m from the hotel El Armador Casa Palacio a fabulous studio apartment in a stunningly renovated building in a perfect location in the Barrio del Mentidero. We were feeling very hungry and set off in search of a very late lunch at around 5pm and found a charming restored early 20th century cafe, called “Royalty Cafe” open and enjoyed a nice bit of tapas to keep our appetites in check. The interiors were classic turn of the century where tradition and modernism were blending and the result was very eclectic. One thing that we really noticed on that first afternoon was the fabulous vestibules of Cadiz, they really were an artform. We wandered around the streets window shopping and grocery shopping for a few breakfast bits and made our way across town to the Mercado and through the narrow street and found our way back to the Apartment for a rest.
With the sun setting late over here we headed out to look for a light meal and to see the fabulous sunset over the Atlantic Ocean to the west and found the Parque genovis and walked around the ocean front to the Playa de la Caleta (beach). The sky had turned a bright pink colour and we had a pink rain sunset, it was an amazing sight. The beach and bay was a bit like Balmoral beach in Sydney meets Cottesloe beach in Perth meets English bay beach in Vancouver but without the people. there was no one in sight which was weird and no restaurants near or on the beach to take advantage of the fabulous views and location….what an opportunity. There were some massive Port Jackson figs the park opposite so we felt right at home. Along with Moreton Bay figs and many other Australian trees Cadiz made us feel very Aussie indeed.
We made our way back to the apartment through the old streets past some beautifully lit buildings and a few wandering minstrels serenading the crowds at the resturants and we then settled on some light tapas at the cafe next door for a late dinner which worked out very well.
We headed off across town the next day with everyone out and about on a Sunday morning meeting for coffee and the place was buzzing with tourists and locals alike. We made our way down to the main Plaza and enjoyed the way they had designed a modern open space with lots of shade and seating within a traditional town hall square space. Very clever and lots to learn from them for how we treat such spaces in Australia.
The streets were a weekend buzz and we stopped off at a few sights along the way .
we came across a great old Palacio called the Admirals house and ended up on the seashore on the other side of town near the Cathedral and after further ambling we came across an impromptu street flamenco dance as we were walking down an alley…such fun.
We ended up having lunch at the “Garage cafe” and then went to the Teatro Romano ruins that had been found under an old moorish castle before we finally made it to the spectacular cadiz cathedral. All the usual over the top altars but also some really interesting design elements. We made our way back through the Barrio Mercado past the mercado again but this time it was full of people drinking at the tapas bars inside. That afternoon it was the Sunday of Corpus Christi and our street filled up with little kids all dressed up and the full procession went right by us on our way out to dinner.We had a sensational meal at Balandro overlooking the seashore and then walked it off in a round about way back to the apartment.
The next day we headed out again to the Cathedral and onto around the seashore snaking our way through lots of interesting neighbourhoods.
There were some lovely Casa’s in this part of town and we then snaked our way back to the other side of town and followed the route to the Plaza de Sevilla and then up onto the old City walls before ended back up near our locality at the stunning gardens Alameda de Apodaca.
They were laid out beautifully along the waterfront with fabulous Australian trees including old Moreton bay Figs, Norfolk Island Pines and a massive Silky Oak tea amongst the other international species.
We ate at the fabulous restaurant that was recommended by Bea which was a really interesting space next to the Royalty cafe and the food was sensational so we have really found some awesome places to dine.
The streets abound with medieval buildings right through to some fantastic art Nouveau stunners .
We decided that a trip to the town beach would be a good idea so john packed his boardies and towel and we made our way down town past the markets and grabbed a fresh juice and then visited the beautiful chapel and courtyard of the Hospital before winding our way to the la Caleta beach where John had a swim. Further wanderings took us through the back lanes of the barrio and we arrived at another recommended Fish restaurant for lunch. Simple but good food and a surprise visit from a group of hens out for a hens lunch, loud and funny.
A nice sleep in as usual and then a juice breakfast for Ann down near the main square at The Top Coffee shop which actually had great coffee and fantastic juices. We walked around the old Santa Maria area and found a stunning church… with white washed interiors and far less ostentatious finishes. It was very serene and they had Ava Maria playing over the speakers so it was special to Ann.
We headed back to the hotel via the Teatro Flava, a magnificent Art Deco style theatre designed to any homage to the Islamic style of the Moors.
We would have loved to seen inside bit alas it was closed. Our last meal in Cadiz was a simple Moroccan almond and chicken Pastella at a local bar as we were still a bit filled up from lunch. We walked around some more all over the place before getting back to pack for our next destination..Carmona. On our way from Cadiz to carmona we stopped in at Jerez de la Frontera to visit the Alcázar there. It was mostly destroyed with just the Mosque, castle walls, baths and cisterns intact and the 16th century palace now taking pride of place. We did not take to long to see it all and then had a terrible meal at a local cafe…mistake.