Ah Cadiz. The oldest town in Europe. This place is oooold. Gorgeous tiny winding streets, very very locals place and no one speaks English. It's located on the southwestern coast of Spain - and it's directly on the water. I need some beach time.
Arrive by train - barely....from 2 nights festivities with Banda crew- on 3 hrs sleep and a taxi ride to the train station. I almost miss the train- made it by 20
seconds. Imagine me running through a train station with a huge 30 pound pack on my back, hungover. It was funny. People thought I was crazy to try for the 945 am train. Nobody gets up that early in Spain.
Nevertheless I made it. And it was worth it. Cadiz is a tiny province that takes about 30 minutes to walk through surrounded by water on two sides. The beach is good- could have been a little cleaner but there is sun, it's warm and I can chill out and recover from Seville. Beach glass everywhere, I was In heaven collecting my free little treasures. Water freezing- still I dunk.
There are a lot of beggars here- you can't sit at a restaurant outside without being barraged by someone asking you to buy their stuff which is basically junk.
I sat with an espresso for 20 minutes and I had probably 10 people approach. My Spanish improves with my communication with the beggars.
This day was basically a wandering through the streets kinda day after three hours at the beach. It's a bank holiday so many locals and their children out and about hanging out in the plazas, swimming at the beach, or strolling through the tiny windy streets of this ancient town. It's a very romantic town- easy place to come with someone you love and stay for a week just eating, drinking and hanging loose.
Family is important here I notice- all of Spain but very truly in Cadiz.
I watched a couple walk through the streets right in front of me holding their 15 yr old daughter's hand- they were all holding hands in a beautiful loving family moment. Impeccably dressed- this was a true Spanish family. The Spanish aren't afraid to show their emotion.
The highlight in Cadiz was the sunset - which I watched at the ancient wall overlooking the ocean. Epic sunset. There are dragonflies flying all around this town- which is my special animal. So here I am sitting on one of the oldest walls in the oldest town in Europe with the oldest known insect that I love so much flying and landing all around me watching a fireball go into the ocean. It was a moment I will always remember.
The hostel was meh. Cadiz Inn backpackers. Ollie was there - the 19 yr old gap year kid from Seville so it was nice to see a familiar face. We made dinner together and talked about our Seville antics. The hostel was planning a huge Halloween / day of the dead party in the kitchen, but after making some pasta I was pooped and needed a night off.
I stayed in a four person female only dorm- right off the street. Met only two of the women. One was from Sweden mid 20s. The other woman, Barbara, an older woman from Austria - stinky feet and my first snorer. Hello ear plugs. Not a huge connection there but so it is when you only stay a place one night. I did see a girl that looked familiar in the kitchen - her name was Stella. After I started chatting with her, I recognized her sweet euro sneakers as the girl that asked Tracy and I to take her picture in front of the Guggenheim three weeks ago in Bilbao. What a crazy small world. That's how it works in Europe - you end up bumping into the same travelers over and over again. She's actually one of only two Americans I've met on this trip so far- Americans are just not traveling to Europe right now.
I was sacked out at 1030- an early rise
At 730 for my 9 o clock bus to granada to see Taylor and the Alhambra. My first bus ride. It's a long journey - 5 hrs. It'll be great to see some family and have my niece take me around her town on a Saturday night. I'm greatly looking forward to it.