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Our trip took us to Cádiz city, which sits on the Atlantic coast just west of Gibraltar. The city extends from a peninsula stretching out into the bay of Cadiz. It’s also the capital of the Province of Cadiz
It’s a great place to visit for a day trip and to explore some of the other towns in the Cádiz province.
Cadiz is a hive of commerce with locals and tourists mingling and unhurried as they set about their business or explore this thriving city. We loved walking around during the day and night knowing it is practically impossible to get lost owing to the close proximity of the coastline.
A few meters from the coast we visited the old quarter of Cadiz with its narrow cobbled streets and open air cafes that surround the quaint little squares. We could tell there were traces of the Moorish occupation from the style of architecture that surrounds the area.
There is a great structural similarity between Cadiz and Havana; the former affectionately known as little Havana by the locals. Certain movies that require a Cuban scene are invariably shot in Cadiz. Speaking of which, the James Bond movie “Die another Day” Havana scenes were filmed here. We had a relaxing time sauntering around the labyrinth of narrow cobbled streets, browsing through the many quaint shops and visiting the many plazas that are home to countless acclaimed monuments.
At the entrance of the old quarter we found” Las Puertas de Tierra; the city, gates that still has part of its ancient walls intact. To the left of it is the “Lithographic museum of Cádiz” where you can see lots of antique printing machines and printed antiquities on display.
Across the road is the “Puppet Museum of Cádiz” which is great for a quick view if you have children. It exhibits a collection of over 500 puppets. We browsed around and were mesmerised by the variety of the puppets on display and the incredible attention to detail. There are exhibits from 20 countries throughout the world; as far away as Ghana, Russia and Mexico. The collection belongs to Cadiz city Council who acquired them in 2008 from the collection of Ismael Peña a local musician.
One of the most popular neighbourhoods in Cádiz is in the old quarter named “El Pópulo” There is an abundance of bars cafes and restaurants where you can enjoy a drink and tapa.
We particularly wanted to visit the “Mercado Gastronómico” (Gastronomic Market). This is where the locals and business people go to buy their fresh produce. There is a great number of fresh produce stalls with vendors vying for trade. If you want to have something to eat and drink, there are lots of food stalls selling different types of choice foods. You can even have quality sushi or delicious Spanish fried fish, squid cheese and a multitude of other dishes to whet your appetite during your walkabout. Our mission was to get to the Argentinian food stall that specialises in empanadas, a form of pasty with various savoury or sweet fillings. The stall is called “Argendarte“.
We also highly recommend Avenida 28 restaurant which is situated in the main long road that crosses through Cádiz.
February in Cadiz is a buzz of excitement and activity because this is when Cadiz hosts the biggest Carnival event of the year. This is when the locals dress up in their flamboyant parade costumes that they have laboured over for many months exclusively for this event. It’s an animated ten day fiesta with lots of music venues and a multitude of tourists mixing with the locals to join in the fun. It´s fair to say that Cadiz hosts the most glittering high spirited carnival on the mainland of Spain. The party continues late into the night and the mood becomes more boisterous as the alcohol begins to take effect. The impressive colourful floats with their creative designs take countless months to complete and as one carnival comes to an end, they are already thinking of new inspirational floats and costume designs for the following year.
We hope you enjoyed our article. Please let us know about your experiences if you have been to Cádiz.