Saturday, May 28, 2016

Day Trip {Cádiz}

Cádiz is just across the bay from Rota -- on a clear day you can see Cádiz from the beach, making it a very easy day trip for us.  Pronounced CA-dith if I were to speak proper Andalusian Spanish (which is a whole post in itself! I am not learning traditional Spanish while here, that is for sure!).

Cádiz is often considered the oldest continuously inhabited city in Europe.  The Phoenicians settled in Cádiz around 800 BC.  Cádiz was also an important city in Spanish history -- Columbus sailed to the Americas from Cádiz on his 2nd and 4th voyages; Spain's first liberal constitution was signed here in 1812; and Cádiz was the port where much of the trade between Spain and the Americas occurred in the 18th century.

The city sits on a narrow piece of land that is surrounded by the sea.  A new bridge was built to connect Cádiz to mainland Spain -- it was built in honor of the 200 year celebration of the constitution that was signed in 1812.  The bridge offers a gorgeous view of the surrounding bay and also coming into the city.  You can get to Cádiz by this new bridge, the old bridge, train or ferry!  We attempted to take the ferry from Rota, but missed it by about 3 minutes so we chose to drive.  The drive was gorgeous, but next time we will for sure take the ferry to have that experience as well!

We have since taken the ferry from Rota to Cádiz numerous times and it is amazing -- a fun and quick (and fairly cheap) way to get into Cádiz.  The ferry runs infrequently (by American standards) but works just fine for a day trip, especially with some planning; it also runs very much on time and if you are late, you will miss it.  The ride is about 30 minutes and drops you very close to the main area of Cádiz.  If the weather is bad, the ferry won't run and you can catch a bus instead.
the bridge (don't worry, these pictures were taken by my dad who was the passenger)
On our day trip, we chose to simply walk around and enjoy the streets and culture of Cádiz rather than spending our first sunny day (after many many days of rain) inside at the cathedral and museum.  However, I am sure we will be back to see both of these places.

We have since been into the museum -- NOT kid friendly at all. There is a gorgeous insanely old mosaic on the floor with little to no barrier and well, Serafina tried to walk right over it and I had to take a really amazing flying leap to stop her.  The museum is fairly cheap (under 5 for adults, I believe) and worth a trip if you don't have kids with you!  The cathedral is quite large and gorgeous inside (6 for adults, kids are free and this includes your ticket to climb the bell tower too).  Serafina absolutely loves churches and demanded we go inside -- it took bribing her with ice cream to get her to leave!

Cádiz is a wonderful city to explore and walk around -- the tiny narrow streets lined with shops and cafes were adorable and also very stroller friendly (and friendly to our Peanut running around).  Cádiz has a very European city feel (probably because it has been around since 800 BC) which I enjoy.  I love just taking in the sights and sounds of the old cities and of course people watching.  Or to be more accurate -- watching the Spanish watch Serafina....

The Spanish LOVE children and will always stop to tell us how adorable our Peanut is, talk to her and even touch her or give her kisses.  Another post for another time, but I have had to get over my own stranger danger with Serafina while in Spain -- it is their culture and we are here, so I am learning to embrace it.

I loved Cádiz and I have no doubt that we will be back many times!

There is always something going on in Cádiz -- we have gone for Carnaval and also a beer festival, and of course many other times just because Cádiz is such an amazing city.  There are so many good places to eat or grab a drink, our personal favorite is going to the central market for all the various food and drink stalls, just be aware of opening/closing times.  We also like Monkey Bakery Cafe for their fancy coffee drinks and milkshakes, usually a rarity in Spain.

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