Tag Archives: Cádiz

Three Countries in Five Days

After nearly three months of nothing but Toledo (except for the delightful little day trip to Cuenca) I was starting to go a bit stir crazy. The only thing that kept sane was an upcoming trip, which my friend Noelia had organised: Three nights at her friend’s place in Badajoz, Extremadura, just a handful of miles from the Portuguese border. From there, we would invade the neighbouring country and stuff ourselves silly with all the glorious Portuguese food we could cram down our gullets. Then, it was onwards, across the entire country and down to Andalucía for a couple of days, following a kind invitation from one of Noelia’s workmates, who had bequeathed us a lovely flat overlooking the beach.

All you all ready and comfortable? Let’s get started 🙂

Badajoz has some lovely public gardens

Badajoz has some picturesque public gardens…

...and glorious views.

…and glorious views. The town itself has a very southern Spanish flair, although it’s not much more south than Toledo. The Portuguese influence is keenly felt in the architecture, the colours and on restaurant menus. Salt cod and custard tarts galore!

Moving on to Portugal…

Évora's party piece: A Roman temple from the 1st century

Évora’s party piece: A Roman temple from the 1st century

Roman Temple and moi

Hidden gems

Lots of crumbling gems to discover…

...as well as some modern art. Noelia (left), and our hosts Gracia (right) and Lua (centre).

…as well as some modern art.
Noelia (left), and our hosts Gracia (right) and Lua (centre).

One of Évora's stunning residents turning his back on me

One of Évora’s most glamorous residents turning his back on me

The Almendres Cromlech, a few miles from Évora. A megalithic complex erected 8,000 years ago, and pretty well preserved. We just made it in time for sundown.

The Almendres Cromlech, a few miles from Évora city. A megalithic complex erected 8,000 years ago, and pretty well preserved. We just made it in time for sundown.

We're in Elvas now, another historic town settled since the year dot. Just don't ask me what that thing in the middle is...

We’re in Elvas now, another historic town settled since the year dot.
Just don’t ask me what that thing in the middle is supposed to signify…

Like any Portuguese town worth its salt, Elvas has a castle...

Like any Portuguese town worth its salt, Elvas has a castle…

...impossibly steep, cobbled streets...

…impossibly steep, cobbled streets…

...and plenty of tiles. Everywhere.

…and plenty of tiles. Everywhere.

 

And, of course, FOOD! Here we are, waiting for ours. The desserts at that place were to die for.

And, of course, FOOD! Here we are, waiting for ours. The desserts at that place were to die for.

For one last look at Portugal, how about this cork oak? The souvenir shops are full of cork products. You can even send postcards made of cork.

For one last look at Portugal, how about this majestic cork oak? The souvenir shops are full of cork products. You can even send postcards made of cork.

Cádiz Province, Andalucía, here we come!

Andalucía billboard

BEACH BEACH BEACH

BEACH BEACH BEACH!!!

I was very taken with that umbrella ;.)

I was rather taken with that cheery parasol 🙂

Andalucia Castellar

Did I mention the beach...?

Did I mention the beach…?

Noelia and our generous host and indefatigable tour guide, Paco

Noelia with our generous host and indefatigable tour guide, Paco

A cute frog fountain in Tarifa

A cute frog fountain in Tarifa

Soto Grande Boat

 

Gibraltar... that was the third "country" on our trip. We spent the morning there, I made a beeline to M&S, bought as many packs of hot cross buns as I could carry and several boxes of walnut whip. None of which survives.

Gibraltar, the third “country” visited on our trip. We spent a morning there, during which I made a beeline to M&S, heaping as many packs of hot cross buns as I could carry into my basket, as well as several boxes of walnut whip. None of which survives.

Now there’s just one thing missing, one VERY IMPORTANT thing:

Badajoz Cake

 

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Caught In The Act…!

On our Andalusia trip three weeks ago, rather than snapping away at the region’s dramatic landscapes, outstanding culinary delights and splendid beaches, Maria decided to turn her camera on me instead.

I was totally oblivious to her surreptitious mission to capture my hunchback poses and contorted grimacing until it was all over.

Here is what she sent me:

Seducing a dessert

Cornering a defenceless dessert in a tapas restaurant. If only I could muster that degree of concentration while I was doing the work I’m actually paid to do …

These were taken in sunny Cádiz:

The seagull proved even trickier. My own pics didn't turn out...

The seagull played hard to get. Every time I’d lock it into focus, the blasted bird would hop an inch further away from me. I’m guessing the Medusa hair didn’t help…

Blue flowers

Flowers can’t escape. But don’t these damn things shake, rattle and roll in a stiff seaside breeze!

Cádiz cathedral

At least a cathedral can be trusted to remain steadfast.

Cadiz sea

There’s nothing like getting your lens splashed with murky salt water…

Tree

Those trees are amazing.

A pic from Algeciras beach, with Paula (Maria’s sister) and her happy, bouncy, delightful dogs:

Homing in on Gibraltar

Am too busy for jollities. I’m homing in on Gibraltar…

And here we are, on Gibraltar:

Gibraltar Harbour

Gibraltar, Lighthouse

No wonder the monkeys dashed off in a wild panic earlier on, I must have given them the same scary look…!

The last two pics originate from the little mountain top village of Castellar:

Castellar Lane

Cute village lane

Castellar, Orange tree

I do love a handsome orange tree 🙂

So, has anyone played candid camera on you recently? And are you still talking to them…?

Colourful Cádiz

Cádiz is a truly beautiful Andalusia city in southwestern Spain. It enjoys a stunning setting as it’s a peninsula, so there’s sea on virtually all sides. As you’ll probably have gathered from recent posts, we went there for a little day trip last weekend, as it’s only an hour’s (and a bit) drive from Algeciras, where Maria and I were staying.

Cádiz Cathedral

Cádiz Cathedral

Cádiz seaside walkCruise ship & Bus

King of his castle :)

King of his castle 🙂

Sea & rocks

Bathing Beauty...

Bathing Beauty…

Patio

Sightseeing bus

Sightseeing bus

Building

Lantern

I usually finish off with food, but we’ve already had that in a previous post, and so, for a change, the last word goes to fashion. Rather unwise fashion (in my opinion), though colourful it is…

WHO, I ask you, in their right mind, would wear something as hideous as this?? And on WHAT occasion? I'm totally baffled...

WHO, I ask you, in their right mind, would wear something as hideous as this?? And on WHAT occasion? I’m totally baffled…

See-through plastic lace-ups, anyone...?

See-through plastic lace-ups, anyone…?

 

 

Eat ’em raw, swallow ’em whole!

Andalucía – and Cádiz in particular – has the most fabulous array of seafood. On our way down there last weekend, Maria was waxing lyrical about “camarones”, tiny shrimp sold in cups or cones, eaten on the go, just as they come. And, as you can see, she found some:

The little blighters didn't stand a chance...

The little blighters didn’t stand a chance…

Camarones

Fresh sea urchins, anyone?

Fresh sea urchins, anyone?

...and you eat them raw, although, unlike the camarones, without the shell, I suppose ;-)

… you do eat them raw, although, unlike the camarones, without the shell, I suppose 😉

 

Some cod's roe

Some cod’s roe…

...and made into a nice salad. Tasty and nutritious! The shrimp frittatas in the background were divine :)

…made into a colourful salad. Tasty and nutritious!
The shrimp frittatas in the background were divine 🙂

And, to finish off on a complete non sequitur,  some puzzling… uhm… street art:

Make of it what you will...

Make of it what you will…

Silvery Seas, Stormy Horizons

I do love a nice moody shot of the sea, and I managed to take these on Saturday during our excursion to Cádiz.

The day had been beautiful and sunny, and just as we were about to leave, rain clouds were starting to move in. You can them in the background:

Cádiz sea & beach

The sea was like a sheet of silver...

The sea was like a sheet of silver…

There will be more on the beautiful seaside city of Cádiz over the next few days 🙂

Andalucía, We’re Coming For You!

I’m enjoying a long weekend down south. Maria and I set off yesterday at lunchtime, and seven hours later, with a few pit stops for food and cake, we arrived in Algeciras, in Cádiz Province. It’s right next to Gibraltar.

I didn’t get a good shot of “The Rock”, coz it was raining when we got here, but it sure looked impressive. Here’s a random Andalucían rock:

Maria singing in the car :)

Maria singing in the car 🙂

We had  "pionono", a local sweet, on the way. Too sweet for me...

We had “pionono”, a local sweet, on the way. Way too sweet for me…

We went out for tapas in the evening - totally delicious!

We went out for tapas in the evening – totally delicious!

Today, we’ll be exploring Cádiz 🙂