Another escape post: this time to Cádiz, Spain. It’s a tiny beach town off the southwest coast of Spain and one of the oldest continuously inhabited places in Europe. The Pheonecians founded it around 1104 BCE, then it was used as a Navy port for the Spanish, but most importantly Sevillano’s claimed that the seafood was tasty in Cádiz. That was more than enough of a reason for Tristan and I to hop on a train for a little day trip to the beach.
Only about 10 minutes after arriving, as we were wandering through the Old Town where skinny neighborhoods lead into plazas and you can spot sections of the old city wall, we saw something old in someones backyard. A little bit of poking around and we discovered an ancient roman theatre with a lovely free museum – what a cool find right off the bat! It was accidentally discovered only about 40 years ago, when a house had burned down. These ‘old foundations’ turned out to be… quite old. We read a bit about the Romans in Cádiz before we were able to walk under and in the theatre. Very cool!
Bright blue skies and a hot sun led us to the water and on a nice walk to get to an old fortress. Well… old fortress, turned chapel, turned prison, turned ‘cultural landmark’, that now sits at the end of an islet. We saw old leathery men wearing tiny neon swimsuits and fishing, while little kids raced around on their bikes. Unfortunately, the fortress wasn’t open but the views from it were nice enough.
Then came lunch.
We walked around for a while, trying to figure out what to eat and where to eat. The main food market was unfortunately closed and an antique market had taken over the main plaza, so we found ourselves working our way around rowdy locals and a tour group in hopes of finding something fresh. There were some people selling fresh urchins or mollusks at randomly set up card tables around the square, but we were feeling hungrier than that. We settled on a tapas place where the good food seemed to be served to the people standing, rather than primarily fried food for those who decided to sit in the restaurant. Our feet were a bit tired but we stood anyway.
We had NO IDEA what we were ordering half the time – words were not recognizable by me and they were paired interestingly- “pulpo a la gallega”.. Galician octopus? I had no idea what it was – so we ordered it. DELICIOUS. Best served warm, in a large serving, with oil, large flakes of salt and a sprinkling of paprika (our server had our back). We’d become a fan of fish croquettas, so we had some of those while also enjoying some FRESH seafood paella, incomparable to any other type. Finally, after seeing something flat and fried as the most popular dish around, we ordered “one of those” which turned out to be a shrimp fritter. Everything was so delicious, washed down with a tiny beer, and under 20 bucks.
Of course we were stuffed but we managed to have just enough cash for some churros and chocolate, so we found a nice restaurant to sit in the shade and enjoy the sweet treat. After that it was time for a final walk through a lovely green garden, some wandering back through the old town, and finally the hour long train ride back to Sevilla.