Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Spain's Oldest City - Cádiz, Spain

Coming from Rota, I had mapped out my route and with prior research, thought to myself that the trek to Cádiz would be quick and easy!  Well, naturally, the world does not operate on making the first day of my bike tour go as planned.  I read numerous forums and research about using roads in Spain for bicycles.  As long as it is not an Autopista or a high interchange area of an autovista, bicycles are allowed to go along their merry way.  Not in all cases.  N-443 proved that point quite quickly as bicycles are not allowed due to the bridge which then made what was going to be a 'less than four hours' ride into an eight hour spin.  Although, aside from the tribulations of getting to the ancient city of Cádiz, the struggle made the enjoyment of the area all the more valuable!  Once I passed through the city gates, I eagerly followed la Avenida del Puerto to my host's apartment for it was all downhill!  My host for the night, Vittorio, was truly incredible!  Once I arrived and enjoyed a small siesta as per the Spanish culture, took me out on his moto for a quick glance at the city and then we enjoyed the last few hours of beach time before heading to Casa Manteca.  The Spanish version of a 'hole-in-the-wall', this place was a corner bar themed with the history of bullfighting and had a great stock of local Sherry!  The next morning, I began my wanderings about the city with no set agenda for the day.  Riding about aimlessly, I discovered the unexpected!  The botanical gardens took me by the greatest surprise with the boundless beauty of this public park!  Pictured below in the enter is the southern end of the park that runs along the sea wall of the northwestern corner of the peninsula.  After knocking around the cobblestones on my bicycle, the time of day came for lunch and no better place to do that is on some random street in the heart of the city by which ever one smells the most appealing!  While sitting there enjoying my Iberian pork and house beer, I let the hubbub of activity surround me on all sides.  I caught the first image of the post from my table as the crowds were dispersing to head home for the soon-to-be siesta time.  But, before I headed back to relax myself, I found the public market and scouted out the various vendors for the fruit that look the most savory and the best deal for the day.  This was the day that I felt I absorbed the Spanish life to the fullest as I made my entire purchase of apples, bananas, oranges, and a cluster of grapes all in the native tongue!

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