Monday, 19 May 2014

Cadiz, Spain

Following on from the ‘left guests’ debacle in Casablanca, we did wonder whether we’d be late arriving back into Spain. However, our 10am arrival was as it should have been, so breakfast on the deck was accompanied by the view of a fellow Thomson ship in port (this one enormous and German; we looked a little pathetic to say the least). As we had eight hours in port, and weather in the mornings had failed us in the first few ports, we had decided to give ourselves a well-deserved lie-in (in hindsight, it seems we had quite a few ‘lie-ins’), with a view to heading out late morning/early afternoon (Cadiz was small, we were sure we weren’t going to miss much).

It was all very civilised. At about midday, we set off on the free shuttle bus from the ship to the port terminal... which took less than two minutes. Having walked for forty out of port in Casablanca, we were more than a little dumbstruck to say the least!

From the sun deck over breakfast, we had a-spied a cathedral, so as was becoming the habit, we followed the tower and headed off for an explore. This tower was located in no time at all, and in true British fashion we then joined the queue wending its way from the doors to have a look inside. However, once we had managed a sneaky peek through the door, we decided that the exterior was as good as it got so made a hasty escape and went instead to find postcards (that point in the holiday when you suddenly realise you haven’t sent any, so have a sudden desperate need for them).

Instead, we found ourselves t the bottom of a street that looked like it would lead us to a sea front, so we were drawn by the promise of a paddle. While the lampposts (and dare I say the reek of urine?) may have been reminiscent of Cromer, the colour of the sea, the bronzed bodies and unusual shells reminded us that we were in fact in Spain. Quick to take off our shoes, we rushed along the sand to dip our toes in the clear water... fresh!

Sand batted from our feet with scarves (they’re just so multi-functional), we went back the way we had come to have another go at a postcard search, and to perhaps make a stop for lunch while we were at it. Of course when in Spain, real Tapas is the order of the day (and Sangria, which was amazing, by the way!), so we sat ourselves outside a little café, where orange trees grew and nobody understood anybody (or maybe it was just us, but it all seemed a little... relaxed?). Sangria we managed to order no problem at all, then we made our tapas order and were later confronted with our order which can only be described as being for an excessive amount of food.

Having made an excellent attempt at a crazy amount of food, we were finally able to heave ourselves up in order to walk off the tapas babies we had gained. We found that Cadiz seems to be in some sort of horse-shoe, as we stumbled upon the ‘other side’ of the sea which was very beautiful; lots of garden, pretty benches and fish just below the surface of exceptionally clear water! From the sea, we wound our way back towards the main square as we were reminded of our postcard mission. Here we encountered my parents (even somewhere so small, bumping into familiar faces when on holiday is a very surreal experience) so stopped to exchange pleasantries and to take postcard shop recommendations before going on our merry way.

Having finally discovered a little shop with pretty postcards, we travelled back on the shuttle bus (a little embarrassed to admit that actually, but when one has been wandering all day... all afternoon?) for tasty dinner delights and the Baked Alaska Parade:

Starter – tuna & caviar
Soup – asparagus
Main – lamb shank
Dessert – chocolate walnut coffee cake & mystery sweet sugary things

After dinner was the usual cards accompanied by the Boros Duo and another glorious sunset for which we again risked our lives out on the slippery, blustery decks! Moonlight across the black water followed the sunset – which we witnessed from behind a curtain in our window seat whilst waiting for the Crew Talent Show (I’m not entirely sure whether other guests were impressed by our seating arrangement, but I was pretty content). You know you’re a seasoned cruiser when you’ve seen the same talents from the same crew members before. The belly-dancing barman was a new and welcome addition though... 

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