This last batch of notes seem a great deal more coherent than any of the others, due to most of the day being spent in a car, giving me a lot of time to write.
"Fri 13 May
Got away in good time though Puertal a bit of a mystery - we tried for a good 20 min. to get into the city befroe deciding to fuck it & go straight to Cadiz, which was stunning.
The bridge across the bay from the North gives the misleading impression of an island - though it's nice to be leaving the industrial Puero Real behind.
Ave de Andalucia along the neck of the peninsula reminded me of Miami & not in a good way. Mostly tasteless highrises with the exception of Hotel Playa Victoria - quite tasteful.
The entry to the old city is monumental. The ancient city walls are around 10 metres thick (perhaps more). Gives the impression of a city very much used to siege. We sort of follow the flow of traffic and, on the way to finding a parking space find the bus stop where the tour bus takes off from.
Find parking under Plaza St Antonio. I remember the plaza from the Jerez tour map (flip side: Cadiz). It's poretty central & I have the Rough Guide out to find lunch & points of interest. We stumble upon the topiary gardens (name?) & some other Boulevards that look over the Bahia Cadiz. I thought the Ficus were Mangrove trees. Only in retrospect does this seem as stupid as it is.
The guide points to 2 potentially brillianrt lunch spots very close by (plaza?) - but first breakfast. Graeme & I both seem keen on some places & less on others. I'm beginning to really like Cadiz. We agree on café con leche e tostados at Salon Italiano.
We wander to the bus stop via PLaza de Espana - pic opp - then get on the tour bus. Pretty girl collecting tickets. My headphones didn't work to start. Something about an electric clock & Ben Franklin.
Leave the old town along the West Side and see the beaches - huge - surfers, ugly buildings, moving cemetary (!)
Back to old town - neoclassical prison, now courthouse, Friary where the last stand against the French took place early 19C, Cathedral - took 122 years to build due to the decline of the city, originally to be ENTIRELY marble, but oyster stone used eventually. Nice forts. After tour we seek Cathedral and fail due to my total ineptitude with a map. Along the way we find the Market which looks AMAZING & see loads of the back streets - really love Cadiz.
*POI - the fishermen paint houses different colours to make it easier to see off shore (apparently) - go to the fort - very thick walls. Stunning views. Hotel Atlantico: State owned 5 stars. Royal family stay there.Lunch @ Cumbres Mayores - what a bar/restaurant/deli! Beer taps are bronzed Jamon joints! Food is amazing - salt cod and anchovie sarnies that have incredible flavour, jamon amazing, Graeme orders chorizo & stew that rock! As good as it was, as we left I spy the seafood bar across the street & feel a pang of regret. Next time... & there will be a next time!
Mistake with parking ticket & we're out of there with all of our stuff. I was a bit nervous. Half a mind to see the cathedral on the way out but Cadiz traffic conspires against us. Oh well. Next time.
Drive is punctuated by CD player hiccups until Tariffe when the scenery becomes very interesting & incredibly, we see Africa. Don't think any of my high velocity photos will have come out worth a shit but still... to see Africa...
We pass Gibraltar & decide to let it pass for the sake of time & it being full of sunburned English wankers.
The closer to Malaga we get the more distasteful Spain becomes. Far too many signs in English, far too many golf courses, far too many HIDEOUS developments. The incredible majesty of the hills that these colonies lay at the foot of make it more sad. Good for the economy etc. & all that nonsense, but it does nothing for my sense of the aesthetic.
After a bit of a farce trying to refuel the car before handing it back we get to the airport & spend 90 min waiting for the wrong checkin desk to open, paying too much for beer and thinking the food has dropped in quality since Cadiz. Malaga airport sucks, & checkin, when we got to the right desk, reinforced my hatred of golfers considerably. Deepened by the number of total fucking arseholses with excess luggage that made the checkin process molasses slow. Fucking 90kg each. Wankers.
Bought a bit of ham & pork loin for Andy. Airport food indescribably bad. Bonus in GIANT SAN MIGUEL NOSTRO. Wow. Good buzz for the flight. Fit stewardess as well. Take off close to on time. Assigned seats & chairs with pockets a bonus. My own bed tonight... ah well"
So that was my holiday... monumentally boring to most people, though most people don't read this blog. But Graeme, I hope you read it and it stirred up some memories because when/if you come back from Australia we have to go back. Last batch of pics will be up soon.