Footsore in Cadiz

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October 3rd 2022
Published: October 3rd 2022
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Footsore in Cadiz

We could have easily slept in longer today but the alarm is sounding and we want to beat the heat. It is certainly much hotter here than in the mountains! We are off to Cadiz for the day. Our host has recommended a route via the train and boat.

We set off at 7.30am…it’s still dark! Again I am cursing booking old town accommodation. Absolutely zero chance of hailing a taxi here and even less chance of one arriving if I try to telephone and give verbal instructions!

We have arrived at the train station via the twisting narrow streets without too many wring turns. Now to negotiate the ticket buying procedure. I go to the ticket office but it’s a ridiculously slow process. The woman at the front has been at the only counter open for over fifteen minutes! Meanwhile Ian is back to tell me he has sussed out the self service machine. But shall we go straight to Cadiz on a direct train and cut out the catamaran? Yes! Sounds much easier!

Ian gets the tickets and we are on the platform five minutes ahead of schedule. Our train has arrived on the dot. Its the morning commuter train bit no trouble finding a seat. We are all masked up as the rule is strictly enforced here.

It’s 9.20am and we have arrived in Cadiz. Ian has a circular route planned. We have decided to do the outer circle first around the sea walls, before the sun gets too fierce…then more to the inner, potentially cooler, interior later.

We start off at the 17th Century fortifications and town gate, then head off towards the sea. Here we start our walk proper, passing the cathedral and old Roman theatre on our way. There are two star first that Ian would like a closer look at. Neither is open but we can get up pretty close. The first involves a walk along a causeway. By the time we have done that we’ve walked a fair distance!

Now we have reached a shady, and rather interesting, botanical garden. Boards inform us if all the different plants here, and there’s a lot of ornamental topiary with bubbling fountains interspersed.

We’ve reached the last fort and my feet are about to drop off. We have a place earmarked for sherry and tapas in the centre. Time for lunch!

We have earmarked the sherry place (it’s down a narrow back street) and it’s closed. It was supposed to open at 11.30am. We find a bench and wait a while. We will give them 15 minutes before giving up.

It’s midday and the sherry house has opened. We are the only ones there! The guy gives us a bit of a run down on the sherries telling us that it’s a family business that has been handed down the generations. I order sweet which Ian goes for a medium dry…and we’d like some tapas. The sherry does not disappoint although the tapas turns out to be an overpriced bag of potato crisps. We decide this isn’t the right place for lunch!

We make our way back to the cathedral for a final wander before making our way to the catamaran. Ian wonders if we should just take the train but a boat trip sounds like it might be fun?

It takes us a while to locate the entrance but finally we are there. I buy two tickets and we wait with two others to take the boat back to Puerto St Maria. To be honest it’s nothing special although we do get some nice views of the suspension bridge connecting Cadiz with the mainland. And now we have to walk in the full sun to the railway station. It’s supposed to be an easy 1km walk - well nit in this heat and actually I’m sure it’s at least twice that distance. Ian was right, should have taken the train all the way!

Anyway, we’re finally at the station, exhausted and footsore, so now it’s just one stop, ten minutes, and we are back in Jerez. Here the bun fight to exit the station is exhausting. There are automated barriers which people must use to get on to the platform and we are using the same ones to exit…along with every other man, woman and electric scooter or bike.

Out of the station it’s a mere 30 minute walk back to our flat. There are taxis but the traffic is gridlock…I suppose we’d better walk it!

Back at the flat and we head straight for the shower…phew it’s really hot out there today!

This evening we stroll back to one of the local squares for dinner. Ian is trying the meatballs whilst I have gone for the local ham with ‘broken eggs on a bed of potatoes’. Ian reports that his is somewhat bland. Mine is nice but not exactly what I expected…the broken eggs turn out to be four (rather a lot I think) fried eggs of which three are indeed broken…but disappointingly, the potatoes turn out to be salted crisps again…what is it with salted crisps round here?

There is a lot of activity at our local church tonight and we can also see that the cathedral is all lit up. By the time we get back to the flat it’s pitch black. We go up to the roof and can see all the lit churches…very pretty.

Tomorrow we are definitely having a lie in!

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