Usually I can’t wait to disembark and explore, but today, I sit on my balcony with coffee, enjoying the warm, soft sunshine. I always research where the local food markets are and a couple of local restaurants or café’s so that I hit the ground running. Most of the tapas bars don’t open until 12 or even 1 p.m. Today I had a cab booked to take me to Seville at 2 p.m., so I was pretty limited in my choice. After coffee, I set off with a rucksack and a healthy appetite and wander through the small streets of Cadiz in search of the local market. It always amazes me that even at this relatively early hour, the small cafes are full of locals enjoying a coffee and a bite.
Most had no seats, but in the end, I found a small, slightly touristy café called El Viajero del Merkao, slap bang next to the market. I wanted to order the Spanish breakfast dish ‘Pan con Tomate’ or tomato bread I had eaten back in May in Esparragosa but wasn’t on the menu for some strange reason, so I plumped for a milky coffee, eggs and ham.
The service was quick; before long, I was tucking into air-dried ham with fried eggs and crisps! Not what I was expecting, but nevertheless, it was bloody delicious. After another coffee, I set off to explore the market and harbour.
At The Market
Here the fresh food is superb, and the locals are queueing around the block at one meat stall.
Opposite the market were a couple of fabulous fruit and veg stalls. I just had to take a photograph; it was so colourful.
Just outside the market, a stall called La Guapa was selling Churros cooked to order. It seemed like any other churro stall to me; it was busy and had a constant stream of hungry customers. While eating my breakfast, I would get a waft of that hot, sugary waffle smell (the same aroma from the waffle machine on Blackpool’s Pleasure Beach I remember in the late ’60s) that drew me for a closer inspection. There is a small sign said above, saying since 1933, and I foolishly thought it was just a little bit of poetic licence.
However, I did some digging on my return to the UK and was astounded. The current owner, Jose Antonio Luna Velasco, says that churros had been made here from 1893/4 but took off in the 1930s. Jose’s son now runs it, and is still thriving, although it has changed slightly from its original location. I just love stuff like that! Sadly, I didn’t get a chance to taste them as the queue was long, and I had to get back to the ship to get my bags. Next time, I certainly will.
Discovered in 1980, the ruins of the Roman Theatre indicate that its construction probably took place in the 1st century BC, having been one of the largest constructions of its kind by the Roman Empire.
Campo del Sur Avenue
Before heading towards the historic part of the city, why not stroll along the seafront along Campo del Sur Avenue?
The Cathedral of Cádiz is undoubtedly impressive. Built between the 18th and 19th centuries, this building leaves no one indifferent. Taking over 100 years to build, this cathedral combines several styles, from Baroque to Neoclassical. The Reloj Tower, part of Cádiz Cathedral, is another point of interest in Cádiz. From here, you have a splendid view of the entire city.
Cathedral Square (Plaza de La Catedral)
Taking its name from the largest monument there, Plaza de La Catedral is one of the most emblematic places in the historic area of Cádiz. It is a delightful space to enjoy one of the several terraces available there
This is one of the parks you really can’t miss in Cádiz. Despite its various renovations over the years, its origin dates back to the 18th century. It’s one of the funniest and most quirky gardens I’ve ever seen, and it’s worth a visit
Alameda Apodaca Gardens
We move on from one garden to another and no less charming. The garden runs parallel to the sea and is a favourite spot for the locals to stroll at the end of the day. Enjoy a very romantic walk with incredible views over the Bay of Cádiz!
With a full tummy, I wandered down to the harbour and strolled along the promenade, dodging runners and lovely old ladies with tiny dogs out before the sun got too hot. A couple of men were fishing and doing rather well, no doubt a lovely lunch of grilled what looked like black bream and glass or two no doubt. One thing I did notice was the complete lack of litter anywhere. It was spotless, not even a cigarette butt, deeply impressive. The only other place I have too recently was Vienna, and that was the same, even in the back streets clean as a whistle.
Finally, it was back at the ship for a quick shower before my cab arrives for our 2-hour drive to Seville airport and my flight home.
At the airport, I checked in, and with time to spare, I thought I’d get a quick coffee. After ordering my Cappuccino thought I better get a sandwich as it was a 4-hour flight and was astounded to see small crusty rolls filled with Jámon Ibérico, arguably the best-air-dried ham in the world, with a few slices of full-flavoured Manchego cheese. I was so taken aback that I just had to post it on Instagram.
Some recipes inspired by my all-too-brief trip to Cadiz.