Spain, Spain, I love Spain. Love it. Are you getting a good idea of how much I love it? It’s right up there with Cuba as my favourite Real Life destination. Even though Leroy and I have both spent quite a bit of time individually exploring post-Franco España, for some reason neither of us had made it to Cádiz before today.
Founded by the Phoenicians over 3000 years ago, Cádiz’ claim to fame is that it’s one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities of Western Europe. As a port city and with the Old Town edged by seawalls, the current incarnation actually reminds me a little of Havana but with the brilliant white light of Australia.
The 18th century was probably Cádiz’ moment of glory, with 40 newspapers published and shipping watchtowers built on top of all the fancier houses. There are still over 120 watchtowers left and they give a real feeling that this place was once at the centre of something big. It’s a weirdly exhilarating feeling being here; the salt air, the smell of fish frying on the outdoor grills of the freidores, the faint exhaust of motorbikes. Seagulls swooping and scralling in the sea breeze.
I have no burning desire to see any museums or important landmarks today and luckily Leroy feels the same. Instead we have been making our way through the maze of narrow cobblestone streets, stopping when we feel like it for a snack or something to drink. We’re saving our appetites for a Spanish feast tonight – seafood for Leroy, non-fishy tapas for me (but perhaps not the ‘crispy sheep’s cheese with the aroma of peppermint’ promised by one place we passed). And this part of Andalusia is sherry country, so we’re in luck.
Later tonight – flammmmmmennnnco ! Olé!