Cadiz and an Evening in town

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April 27th 2016
Published: April 27th 2016
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Good morning. Yesterday afternoon was at leisure in Cadiz. We decided not to go on the all day excursion to Seville; two hour bus ride each way, as we had been there several times when Lisa lived their her junior year. Fran stayed in to nurse her cold and she “encouraged” me to go do something. As my grandson, Charlie, is prone to say, "leave me alone." I signed up for a bike ride around and through the city. Orion has brand new cruising bikes and our group, which consisted of the leader, one other guy, and a woman tried them out. The leader, the on board concierge, is just a kid and he had no idea where to ride but he was enthusiastic. The city is a bulbous shaped peninsula. We decided to circumnavigate it, along the beach roads, then drop into the core of the old city. Part of this would be on a bike path. So we did, successfully, part of the time riding in city traffic but a good part on a bike path. It was fun and different though not what one might call scenic, nor would one call it an exercise ride, but we did put in some mileage. After going around Cadiz, we went in and rode on the narrow streets slowly to avoid pedestrians. I wrote yesterday that Cadiz reminds me of Venice, sort of, but is less charming than say Venice, and it is, but Fran wanted me to point out that it is charming and interesting. Venice is tough competition. We rode about 15 miles all in all, though the vast majority of the miles were around and not in Cadiz.

Last night was a night free. There was dinner on the boat but the Seville group wasn’t getting back till ten so we decided to go out on our own. Theo sent us two recommendations, one was a Michelin two star, but they both appeared very formal and serious and that was not our interest. Thank you though, Theo. We decided to search on our own using Trip Advisor. We found Ballandro, right on the water. Dinner was at 8 so we had an hour or so to walk around. Another gorgeous night and the city was out. It doesn’t get dark until after 9. The many squares we walked by were crowded with kids playing soccer, young adults skateboarding, adults supervising, smoking, or having a beer and chatting. Anyway, we found Ballandro on Trip Advisor. It is very highly rated (four and a half stars out of five). My review of the restaurant sums up our experience.

What were they thinking? Ballandro is the top rated restaurant on Trip Advisor that opens before 8:30. It opens at 8:00. I know. That seems like a dumb way to pick a restaurant. It is. I did. I'm sorry. You probably want more specifics. Or maybe when you go to Cadiz you'll wait until 8:30 and not take the chance that I'm right. Good move. Quickly. We went there at a little after 8. It was sparsely occupied. That was the second signal missed. We walked in and were seated by the window in a prime location. No reservation. Signal three. Missed again. Ordered a glass of house Rioja. It was surprisingly good. All downhill from there. I ordered an Octopus Salad. Out came an Iberian Pork and Rocket salad. Mi espanol no es bueno pero, come on it’s not that bad. What the heck? Too complicated to try to fix, Pork was pretty good. Then the main courses; Mediterranean yellow fin tuna, rare with wasabi and John Dory with vegetables. Yellow fin was inedible - fishy, yucky, stinky, just bad or as they say in Cadiz, muy mal. John Dory was barely tolerable. "Everything ok," the waiter asked. "No." The waiter did not flinch, acted like he didn't understand English. Wait, what is "no" in Spanish? I got the check. Tuna was still on the bill. I paid. I left. End of review.

Well Theo, we should have taken your advice. And Trip Advisor, who writes these reviews? Oh, I guess I do, the good ones.

Fran’s better this morning. We woke up and came up to the observation deck around sunrise to see us passing the Rock of Gibraltar. It looks different on the Prudential ads. But it was cool. I liked seeing the UK, Spain and Africa all at the same time. Seas are calm, sky is clear and it’s 64 degrees. Malaga later today.


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