Wednesday, June 15, 2011

An Afternoon in Cadiz

It is a scenic drive from El Puerto de Santa Maria to Cadiz flanked by vibrant unending rows of golden sunflowers. Possibly the oldest city in Europe, Cadiz was originally inhabited by Phoenicians then traded hands between the Romans, Byzantium, Visigoths, and the Moors until the 13th century when they were conquered by King Alfonso X. It is home to an extraordinarily stunning coastline from which Columbus set sail on several voyages. It was my first weekend in Spain and I wasn't staying indoors. Unfortunately, after spending virtually 2 days in the air, flying across four time zones and racing through airports with tight connections, my body wasn't as cooperative with the agenda I had laid out for Cadiz.
The busy yet placid Plaza de la Catedral was beautiful. I took a seat at Bar Terraza, where I soaked in a marvelous view and attempted to avoid fainting. Yet the waiters were incredibly rude despite my attempts in espanol. I was served a plate of patatas dowsed in olive oil with canned tuna atop it, yuck! Amongst the array of amazing seafood available in southern Spain I am puzzled by their affinity for canned tuna. As my senses gradually recovered I passed by the Puertas de Tierra. Constructed in the 16th century, it was formerly the only land entrance to historic Cadiz.

...sort of like a modern Venus of  Willendorf
I strolled further down the Avenida Andalucia and wandered into a zapateria where I discovered my European shoe size, 36. I bookended my tour with a sassy new pair of zapatos. This picturesque city definitely beckons a return trip! It is certainly not complete without a visit to The Museo de Cadiz notable for its collection of paintings by Murillo, Rubens, and Zurbaran as well as many archaeological artifacts. Adios, for now...

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