After two days of sticking close to our home in El Puerto de Santa Maria, we started to get a little restless for more adventures. So, we struck out on our first day trip – a ferry ride to the city of Cadiz, just across the bay from El Puerto de Santa Maria. I hadn’t heard of Cadiz prior to researching this vacation, but after our visit there I believe Lonely Planet’s description sums it up best:
“Cadiz is a city that rewards those who linger. With extraordinary monuments, high-above-it-all vantage points, fantastic places to eat, beaches and a fun-loving spirit renowned throughout Spain, a day is an absolute mininum for soaking up it’s charms”.
Although we didn’t have the luxury of a full day to soak up all that Cadiz has to offer, we did find this to be true, and I definitely left Cadiz wanting more …
We drove into El Puerto and found the parking for the Cadiz ferry easily, and as luck would have it, there was a ferry to Cadiz within a few minutes. As we boarded the ferry, both of us took notice of one extremely good-looking man (we nicknamed him “Pablo”) working on the ferry. More on this later.
We stepped off the boat and started working our way through the maze of streets, not sure what to expect. Our hunger soon took over and we agreed to look for a specific restaurant called “El Faro” that came highly recommended by Lonely Planet as “the” place that locals consider to be the best in Cadiz. We found it easily, bellied up to the bar, and with help from a friendly waiter ordered up a couple glasses of cava, and a selection of amazing tapas. Our favorite was the manchego cheese wrapped in bacon – so good we had two orders!
We were soon joined at the stand-up tapas bar by three Spanish men in their 40’s, all very nice, all handsome and fit, all with a decent command of the English language, and all very intrigued by the two “Americanas” in a decidedly non-touristy area of Spain. We had a great time practicing our Spanish with them, and they apologized over and over for their “terrible” English, although it was better than our Spanish! They shared their tapas with us and refilled our empty glasses of cava, and invited us to a gathering at a restaurant in El Puerto de Santa Maria later that evening. As charming as they were, we of course knew that this wasn’t a good idea, so we said our goodbyes and went on our way.
We headed towards the water and were delighted to come across a feral cat colony. Both of us are cat lovers and have been missing our kitties a lot, so this was a welcome sight for both of us.
After spending probably way too much time ogling the kitties, we decided to head back towards the ferry so we wouldn’t get stranded in Cadiz. But we had some time to kill, so we ordered up a couple of cervezas and enjoyed what was left of the beautiful Cadiz sunshine blanketing the main square,
Not long after we sat down, a street performer started playing “Ring of Fire” by Johnny Cash. Within minutes, another performer in a bad Hawaiian shirt and sunglasses joined him, forming a duet much to the delight of the crowd. We managed to capture some of it on video, a truly delightful performance that I will share at another time.
We caught the 8:30pm ferry back to El Puerto, and our blue-eyed Pablo was there to greet us. I was so flustered, I dropped the ticket as I boarded the ferry, and he picked it up for me, staring at me intently with those beautiful blue eyes.
I suddenly felt like a dirty old lady, especially since he is much closer to Mal’s age than mine. But I’m happily married, so it’s all just fun and games anyway.
After driving home from the ferry terminal, we walked downstairs to the little pizzaria located below our apartment, and enjoyed Margherita pizza and a delicious salad as we took advantage of the free and functioning WiFi. Another amazing day in Southern Spain has come to an end!