Cádiz minus Carneval was a completely different experience than I had a month ago. When I visited during the huge festival, the streets were packed with people and trash. Not the most pleasant first impression of Cádiz.
But Cádiz has redeemed itself! This time I went on a tour with my study abroad program and actually got to see the historical sites rather than getting stuck in a crowd of people for 30 minutes.
Apparently Cádiz is a super old city, and is one of most important trading ports in all of Europe. During the olden days, many of the voyages to the new world went in and out of Cádiz. One of the ships for Christopher Columbus’s first voyage to the Americas was built in a neighboring town.
This city has a lot of history, including the formation of the first Spanish constitution. There’s a monument here to commemorate its creation. Unfortunately the constitution was hard core shot down by the King. It intended to split power into three branches, like the US’s government, and the King wasn’t about to give up his reign. Eventually the constitution became official, but not right away.
We went to the top of the tower of the Catedral, which was really amazing. You could see most of the city, with the water on all sides. Definitely a great photo-op if you’re in Cádiz.
Cádiz is right on the ocean, and is actually an island, so it has some stellar seafood. There’s a huge fresh fish market in town, which was really cool to see. Kind of gross to see the heads still on giant fish, and the smell was a bit overwhelming, but it was really cool to visit.
I tried itty bitty shrimps when I was there, about half the size of a penny. And I also ate shark! I mean not like great white shark or anything. It’s a type of fish that’s part of the shark family. The dish I ate was called “cazon en abodo,” and it was surprisingly delicious.
The main attraction of Cádiz is of course the beaches, which are amazing. We went to a beach that had two castles on either end. The beaches have really fine, light-colored sand and weren’t super crowded when I was there.
I’m pretty sure dogs are allowed on the beaches, cause there were some puppies frolicking in the sand. One strange thing was that parents let their kids run around naked on the beach. No swim suit, swim diaper, nothing. It wasn’t gross or anything, I just couldn’t help thinking that those kids were getting sand in all the wrong places.
Cádiz is only about an hour and fifteen minutes away from Sevilla by bus or train, so I will definitely be returning for some beach days in the future!