A bit on Cádiz, mostly independent of the Carnaval action I already talked about.

Wandering the tide-pools near the fort Wandering the tide-pools near the fort

The city sits on some very interesting geography: a peninsula on the end of a long spit, with the old town clustered on the peninsula. You are never far from water, yet because of the narrow alleys and streets it can still be disorienting trying to navigate around the town. You can feel the seafaring roots of the town – the boats in the harbors, the plethora of seafood restaurants and availability of innovative tapas, and the forts on the water. We enjoyed exploring the star fort at the end of the peninsula.

The city was crowded The city was crowded

I said “mostly independent of the Carnaval” because I can’t really believe that what we saw was normal Cádiz. A number of the normal tourist sites you might visit had odd hours; for example we never visited the Cádiz museum because we never found it open. So, our time in Cádiz was spent wandering around, hitting interesting Carnaval events when we could, and climbing around on old forts and up towers when we could.

The city was rainy The city was rainy

The rain also played a major factor. We don’t mind steady or even hard-steady rain as we have gear to stay mostly dry. But when the wind blows with hard-steady rain, all bets are off. Our pants would become soaked through in about 5 minutes of walking. There were a couple of days where we stayed pretty hunkered down in our hotel room, me doing school work and Julie putting in some long hours for her consulting.

The eels were tasty The eels were tasty

What were some highlights?

  • The aforementioned star fort
  • Parque Genovés at the end of the peninsula (not far from the star fort) is a great city park, with the highlight being a “cascade mountain” (rock structure) you can climb up on, that has a very cool waterfall feature. We saw some old photos from the end of the 19th century showing this very same feature, so it has been around for a while.
  • We climbed to the top of Torre Tavira, which also houses a camera obscura that we did not pay to visit. Only after climbing this did we notice how many towers are scattered around the city, ostensibly to help the local merchants keep an eye on ship traffic coming and going.
  • I think I found my favorite restaurant so far in Spain (and it wasn’t Spanish food): the Indian restaurant Bollywood. We went there twice. I’m now inspired to learn how to make a good dal makhani.
  • I indulged in some local fish and seafood and it was all good: shrimp tortilla (thin and crispy omelette with tiny shrimps), cubed lightly fried mahi-mahi at El Faro de Cádiz, and tiny eels with a soft fried egg and potatoes for tapas brunch.