Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Old and Proud ... the sights of Cadiz

The town of Cadiz, also known as the "tacita de plata" meaning "the silver cup", is 3,000 years old and is considered to be the oldest city in Europe. My hotel is quite a ways from the old city center but is walkable. The first on my must see list “The Puertas de Tierra (Earth Gate) which establishes the limit between the old city and the extra walls of the new city.

Puertas de Tierra

Next, I come across the Teatro Romano, a theatre built in 70-60 BC. It is the oldest and one of the largest theatres in the Iberian Peninsula. Underneath the stands is a gallery built for the distribution of spectators. The entrance is free of charge and you can walk all the way down to the stage and into the gallery that is dug up underneath the stands. It is sort of dark and scary going into the gallery. Luckily there were two other Spanish tourists in there with me otherwise I would have been in and out in a hot second. It’s funny how I can be fearless in some things(like traveling solo) and yet be a real chicken in others.

Teatro Romano

Underneath the stands . . .

Next, I climb up the Torre de Poniente to get a better look at that yellow tiled dome that I have been so looking forward to seeing and also to get a good view of the city below. The fee is only $4 Euros and is well worth the money, time and effort to climb up.

From the top of the Tower I have a fantastic close-up view of the Cathedral's golden tiled Dome . . . Supposedly, the color of the dome was chosen so it would be visible from far away to the fishermen coming into port.

Cool view from the top of Torre de Poniente . . .

I walk over to look around at Plaza San Juan de Dios, which is not as large and grand as the other plazas in Madrid or Sevilla, but it is small and quaint.

I then go back towards the Cathedral and down through the city’s Old Quarter and approach what's known as the Square of Flowers and right behind it is a bustling open market, sort of the Cadiz version of Venice’s Rialto Market.

There was nothing but locals here shopping and “me”! I keep walking with no clue of where I am or where I’m going. The streets are narrow and the buildings go straight up which provides no point of reference for me. I figure Cadiz is built on a peninsula and I am bound to hit the ocean sooner or later. This area of Cadiz seems really really old. But just like in Cordoba some of the houses have these pretty flowered plants on their terraces so although this area looks old it is somewhat charming too.

Finally after following this one local for a few blocks I find the ocean and Castillo San Sebastian. I just knew that following her would guide me in the right direction.

Well, I think my feet can take it no longer and it’s getting kind of late, so I start hoofing it back to my hotel. It seems so far away and for the very first time on this trip I begin to really miss my car back home. I am so tempted to wave down a taxi, but I carry on. Plus it was kind of nice walking along the beach. Never know what you'll see.

Cool view of the Cathedral on my loooong walk back to my hotel.

On my walking exploration I was approached by two locals who were so excited to spend some time to give me an explanation about what I was photographing. Well, at least I wasn't holding a Starbuck Grande of Coffee Americano! It really was very kind of them to educate me on what I was seeing. The locals here are so proud of their town and although it is considered really old it does have a certain charm.

You know, I’ve now been in three very different cities/towns in Spain . . . Madrid, Seville and now Cadiz. IMHO, I think that each one has their own unique vibe and appeal. Madrid is lively and high octane with great art and traditions, Seville is sort of young, hip and soulful and Cadiz is old but charming and proud. And in all three cities/town the people have been very friendly and helpful.

For now, I'm off to get one last glass of Cava and then tomorrow I'm off to Granada to see what is considered to be the jewel of Andalusia, the "Alhambra".

So as I watch the sun touch the ocean for the third night in a row . . .

. . . and the day ends here in this 3,000 year old town in Andalusia . . .

. . . I reflect quietly on my wonderful time here. I think of two things . . . First, I am so glad that I came here to Cadiz and secondly, the Cava is just as delicious as Prosecco! :)


  1. I love love love your photos of Cadiz. If I ever get to Spain, Cadiz will definitely be on my list of places to visit.

  2. Thanks Girasoli, today I head for Granada and my first non direct train ride! Let's see how I do! :) I'm a teeny tiny bit nervous.

  3. I agree about the cava! Glad you're enjoying it!

    What a beautiful city. Your photos are so nice, I especially love the "cool view" on your long walk home. Just gorgeous. And to have the ocean right there next to all that amazing architecture!

    It sounds like you are meeting some nice folks in each city, which is great. Have fun!

  4. Hi Annie, thanks! My hotel was so close to the beach it was great. And yes the people have been cool. In Cadiz I hit it off with another local who was so cool. I told her about the Fiesta I attended in Madrid and even she has never been . . . so I count myself very lucky! :)

    And I guess I shouldn't have mentioned the "no stairs" thing to Girasoli because today at my connection train station, guess what . . . . stairs! I suddenly got flash backs to my Italy trip in 2005 going up and down the stairs going from Siena to Cinque Terre! But I still love Italy stairs and all! :)

    Well, gotta see what I can get myself into tonight! The Alhambra at night is so incredible! Bye for now!

  5. Cadiz looks so beautiful -- and the cathedral is magnificant!

    How interesting, to have such different experiences in different cities in Spain, and to enjoy each one.

    It all looks so clean and beautiful. Now, I'm anxious to hear about the Alhambra, I have always wanted to see it!

  6. Thanks Sandra, I have my pre purchased tickets for toeday and tonight and can't wait. Woke up early I'm so anxius. I'll post probabbly towards the end of my stay here when I've seen everything . . . Whoo hoo!

  7. Hi Kathy, i hope that your first non-direct train trip went fine - I'm sure it did because it sounds like you are so prepared for all your travels!

    I keep meaning to ask you speak Spanish or are you meeting locals who speak English? I love meeting locals when I travel esp when we can communicate a bit!

    It is bizarrely cold here in the 20's which is so unusual. Freezing! The cats both slept on top of me last night!

    Have fun this weekend in Spain!

  8. Cadiz looks awesome! I wish we would have went there on our last visit.

    I am love, love, loving reading about your trip. Can't wait for Granada!

  9. Hi Annie, yes my non direct went pretty snoothly. Even with the stairs at the connecting station. I really practiced and studied my Spanish before I left but wow it really sounds sort of different hearing it in conversation. I try to pick up what words and phrases that I can in the context of when I am approached and try to do my best to respond to be polite. I need to practice more of my Spanish and Italian, you know for when I visit! :)

    Wow, 20 degrees is super cold. I don't blame Lulu and Maria for sleeping on top of you last night. Have you been checking the weather in Venice for your trip! I wonder if it is going to be cold . . . you'd better pack those cold winter outfits!

    I almost forgot, I saw a Lulu look a like today at the Alhambra so I'm going to post the photo! :)

    I had a great weekend, Granada is awesome!

    Thanks so much for your comments Annie, Stay Warm!

  10. Hi Shannon, yes Cadiz was awesome. And it's funny but I almost didn't come here because I was thinking that it is so out of the way, but the thought of visiting a 3,000 year old fishing port city with a golden domed Cathedral was too much to resist. :)

    BTW, Granada is a really cool City too and I have had an awesome time. Almost wish I had more time here . . .

    Thanks so much for your comments Shannon! I loved reading your blog when you were here in Spain with your mom and have enjoyed reading the topics on your Spain/Portugal Forum.Pretty much inspired this trip. So thank you so much!


It's me Trekcapri (aka Kathy). Thanks so much for visiting and leaving a comment.