Lovely Cadiz

August 16, 2017

This will be my last post about beautiful Andalusia, Spain. We saw but a small piece of it, and enjoyed the beaches, villages and restaurants very much. But one of the places I wanted to make sure we visited was the city of Cadiz, which was founded around 1100 BC by the Phoenicians and is the most ancient city still standing in Western Europe. Its position on the peninsula made it an important trading port, and the principal homeport of the Spanish Navy since the 18th century. It’s home to the Catedral de Cadiz, a high baroque style cathedral. It has double pipe organs in a choir chamber of ornately carved wood and is home to a magnificent silver monstrance and ornate statuary throughout. Their website is completely in Spanish, but there is a beautiful video and photographs that shows more than I could possibly describe here:

So much food, so little time.

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The cathedral’s crypt is the final resting place of many church benefactors and bishops, and houses the crypt of classical composer Manuel de Falla, who classical music enthusiasts might know for his Ritual Dance of Fire. Arthur Rubinstein performed this piece at Carnegie Hall in the ‘40’s, which you can hear and see here:

The other attraction I wanted to experience was the market in Cadiz, or Mercado Central, which houses stall after stall of meat, cheese, produce, bread, olives, spices and fish surrounded by flower stalls, cafes and tapas bars. Legs of jamon, the salty cured ham, hung in every other shop. I wanted to come back to Cadiz and rent a self-catering apartment for a weekend just to take advantage of the market; so much food, so little time.

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If we couldn’t spend a weekend we could cram as much as we could into a day. So instead of buying at the market we walked toward the harbor to find a tapas restaurant recommended by our hostess, Colette. El Faro has been a staple in Cadiz for over 20 years: El Faro de Cadiz. And one of the waiters had been there the entire time. Our waiter was young, spoke English (thank the heavens) and was sweet, funny and attentive. This was a true tapas bar, no stools or tables; we stood the entire time, surrounded by young and old. Families with small children ate and drank with babies on their hips. Wine at lunch on a Monday; very civilized.

We started with a beer first to quench our thirst after the walk from the center of town, and then moved on to our new favorite white wine – verdejo. We ate salmorejo – a tomato and bread soup topped with tuna belly, a terrine the French would envy, beautiful sardines on crusty bread, fried anchovies, dark and white chocolate filled canutillos (or cannoli), and a lemon tart that almost made me weep.

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Our waiter told us we’d sleep well during our siesta.

This ends our journey to Southern Spain. Until next time I’ll leave you with a quote that I love:

“The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page.”

– Saint Augustine



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