Posted by: Gary Guertin | December 2, 2011

19. Atlantic/N. Africa/W. Med. Cruise – Port #17, Cadiz, Spain

Hi All,

Today we are back in our last Spanish port of call, Cadiz.  This city/port is said to be the oldest continuously inhabited city in the Western world.  It sits on a peninsula on the southwestern tip of Spain and is almost entirely surrounded by water.  It’s history began in 1100 BC when the Phoenicians founded a trading post there.  It later was controlled by the Carthaginians, until it became a thriving Roman port.  It is best known, however, as a launching point for the journey to the newly discovered lands of the Americas.  Christopher Columbus left from Cadiz on his second voyage.  In recent years it has become a port of entry into the south of Spain, some fishing industry, and a long memory of ancient times when it was a port of entry for the Conquistadors bringing back their hordes of gold.  It is the gateway from the ocean to Seville and Jerez el la Frontera (the center of the sherry industry).

Let’s take a look at this lovely port:

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In the photo above you can see the ports cathedral in the center and when you look right of this photo you see the rest of the port below:

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In the middle of this photo you see the “Plaza de Espana”, that column just a little right of center.

Susy and I, because of the small size of Cadiz, decided to strike out on foot and see what we could see before we gave out.  The port sign for Cadiz is on the back of that column in the Plaza de Espana:

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Take a look at the Plaza de Espana up front:

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Susy wanted me to take the photo below because it reminded her of a similar monument in Buenos Aires where she took a photo with Leonor and Adela when they were little girls:

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From the plaza we plunged into the old town with it’s narrow streets (most one way):

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By the way that tower above the building on the right is one of 160 towers around Cadiz, built to help protect the port from pirates.  Another street:

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and down another street with a church ahead:

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You can’t walk far without coming out on water.  Here’s one of the walks along the bay with one of the many forts in the distance:

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Down another side street we hit one of the tapa bars with hanging hams:

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And then we hit gold.  We walked into the “Plaza de la Mina”.  This plaza is one, if not the main, gathering place for the locals on Sunday (today was Sunday, Nov. 27th).  What happens is local families, rather than going to each others houses, or to the beach, come to the towns plazas, bring their food and drinks (or buys from the local bars and restaurants) and spend a good part of the day just socializing. As you would imagine, a small market goes along with these crowds and Susy couldn’t be happier:

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You would think this port city would be back in the dark ages if you looked at the streets and buildings, but think twice.  We had Wi-Fi from the city all over this plaza, so Susy pulled up a table at the nearest sidewalk café and established her office.  Here she is sending out her emails:

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We spent several hours at Susy’s office chatting with the waiter (who was an international business student) and just people watching.  It was a wonderful afternoon, with the sun out and the temperature in the mid 60’s.  Susy was able to make several good purchases in the market, I got all my blog posts posted, we got up-to-date on our emails, and most of all enjoyed the local people in this historic port city.  That we missed visiting a cathedral, or missed a museum wasn’t important at all.  When we returned to the ship we agreed we couldn’t have had a better day.

So its goodbye to Spain and onward to Portugal.  First stop is Portimao and then Lisbon.

Love You All,

Gary (alias Gagu) 


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