Sunday, November 27 – Cadiz, Spain
We are really on the way home now. Cadiz lies on a peninsula on the western coast of Spain, so we have only the crossing ahead of us [notwithstanding two more ports].
For some reason, we were literally up before dawn. Of course, in our window-less interior cabin, we did not realize this at first. However, it was a few minutes before 8 and sunrise was 8:15. Imagine the greeting we got when we arrived at the MDR! Not only had we actually shown up today, but also we were much earlier than usual. We were so early [how early were you?] that we could have made it to 9:30 trivia had we so desired. We didn’t. We already told Stan and Renee that we do not do morning trivia or anything else.
We were a bit concerned because the weather forecast, as noted yesterday, called for rain. Skies looked threatening as we ate breakfast, but we tried to attribute that to the nascent sunrise. When we left the ship around 11:30, there was actually a bit of sun mixed in with the wind; as we returned several hours later, we had a bit of rain. At least the weather did not ruin our day.
Cadiz is one of our favorite ports. Cruise ships dock in front of a pedestrian area full of shops and cafes [and pigeons]. There is a park which runs parallel to the one street passengers must cross to get into town. The side streets which branch off of the pedestrian plaza are narrow, overhung by tiny wrought-iron balconies which reminded us of New Orleans.
Because the town is on this peninsula, one is never far from water. On previous visits, we have taken the HoHo which follows a good portion of the coastline before going inland to the El Cortes Ingles store. Last year, we rode the bus “for old times’ sake” and got off right behind the cathedral yet we were still on the coast road. We then walked downhill to the cathedral plaza [where we checked in on FB today] and shopped for tchotchkes before getting lunch.
Today, we simply crossed the road and walked into town. We wandered through the main plaza on the way to the cathedral, passing several tour groups outside. Once again, we skipped the church and went shopping. We found little to inspire us but still managed to spend 10 euros. It was time for lunch.
We must have had big Xs on our bodies because lunch became a quest rather than a meal. We looked at the café near the cathedral where we think we ate last year but saw nothing on the menu or in the display case which appealed to us. The next café, on the main plaza, had outdoor seating shielded from the wind and with gas heaters a la the café in Barcelona. We took seats and were given menus and then were either forgotten or ignored. The only action we got was when the pigeon swooped over D’s head; at least he did not leave a tip. The paella we saw advertised was not to be. We looked at another café on the plaza but saw nothing awe-inspiring.
We debated finding a bakery and taking goodies back to the ship but decided to try one of the side streets where we could see tables by the sidewalk. We found one which boasted of wraps, quiche and “empanadillas” which we presumed meant “little empanadas.” There were no seats left inside, but one of the employees gestured to a table outside. D had to go back inside to get the menu. We settled on the “special” of 6 empanadillas for 10 euros as well as the ever-popular Cokes. When no one came to inquire, D went back inside to place our order. Again, through pantomime, he was told that the food would be brought to us. When our food did not arrive after what we considered a reasonable time, we left, still hungry. No one chased after us.
A few doors closer to the plaza, we found a coffee shop which had yummy pastries in the display case, so, once again, lunch was pastry and cappuccino. While it was not the paella or even empanadilas we sought, it was a good alternative and cost only 7 euros, cheapest meal so far.
We shopped [successfully] before returning to the ship. When we passed a Chinese restaurant, D went in and retrieved a carry-out menu in Spanish] for Roy who is always looking for Chinese when we are in port. It’s too bad that he is going home when we do and may never return.
With a visit to the Hassan II mosque in Casablanca scheduled for tomorrow, MA had just about run out of time to buy a scarf as a head covering. She passed by scarves when the ship’s shops had them on display because she thought she could find one on shore. There were none to be found in Katakolon or Cadiz, our main search areas. On the way to dinner tonight, she inquired at the shops. Of course, all of theirs were back in storage. But wait! One of the clerks remembered on hiding under the register! It was perfect and only $10, the regular price. Now MA is all set.
As mentioned before, the cabin stewards, who have been less than perfect, leave towel animals on the bed each night we have been saving them. We colluded with Roy to place 2 on the plate of one of the neighbors at dinner who, in her turn, left them on our table. Tonight, we left an apple with 2 eyes and a nose and lips painted on in lip gloss. Since we wanted it on the table before she arrived, D took the apple to the MDR during the early seating to give to Roy. Sudi took it in his stead and when we came to dinner tonight, they had hidden it in a napkin. Of course the lip gloss smeared making the apple look like a cheap floozy, but it did not matter because our victim did not come to the dining room. After supper, we upgraded the apple with a nose and mouth made from dried apricots. We are eating elsewhere tomorrow [details to follow] so she will wonder where it came from. We can only wait to see what’s next.
TOMMOROW – Our One Real Shore Excursion