April 19, 2015: Cádiz

I was actually the first one up this morning, waking up on my own at nine thirty, nearly an hour before anyone else in the house was awake.  Only six hours of sleep for me, much more “normal” from my pre-España sleeping schedule.  I’ve been much more of an eight or more hours, typically, crossing the pond.

Dominica got up after ten.  The girls were still very much fast asleep.

We managed to get a start at around eleven this morning.  It is a bright and sunny day, but not too hot, partially because of the nice, continuous breeze coming in off of the ocean.  Being on a point, much like San Francisco, has its advantages.  Cádiz is much smaller and much flatter than San Francisco, though.

We walked to the parking garage and retrieved the stroller, probably a mistake, and set out walking down the pedestrian way to the east side of the city.  We stopped at a panaria very early and have coffee and sandwiches.  The girls did not manage to find any food that they wanted to eat there.  They were both asking for noodles or soup (in Liesl’s case.)

We found a gelato place and got some ice cream, which everyone really liked.  This gave the girls at least a little sugar to run on and a tiny bit of protein.

From there it was south to the Central Market, which was open today unlike last night, which we were able to walk through.  It is the oldest covered market in all of Spain dating from 1837.  It was full of vendors with the most interesting and broad food selection.  We were sad that we had already eaten as the food here looked amazing.

Luciana was having a very hard time dealing with the fact that she could not be in the stroller the entire day and was having a bit of a meltdown which did not go over well.  It is going to be a long day with Luciana.

From the market we headed south the same way that I walked last night on my post midnight walk and we got to the ocean barrier wall.  We sat there for a while giving the girls a chance to see the ocean and us time to get our barrings.

We headed east along the ocean front until we got to the Cádiz Cathedral, which we just looked at from the outside.  It is one of the few “things to see” in Cádiz.  Just east of it is the ruins of the Teatro Romano, the Roman Theater that was built here around 70-60 B.C.  That makes it the oldest Roman amphitheater on the Iberian peninsula.  There was not much to see, sadly.  Most of it was cordoned off although we were able to walk around the outside of it and get a feel for just how old it is.

While we were there I ran into a little corner market to stock us up on water for our walk.  One and a half litres of water is just forty cents, or fifty sense for the high end Lanjarón brand.  I splurged to support our local water supply.

We followed Liesl’s lead and she led us to the “main plaza” of town.  A huge, lively plaza with tons of tourists, the big city hall, lots of restaurants, a large monument, fountains and more.   She seems to have a great sense of direction in old European cities.

The girls ended up just wanting to play on the main monument in town for a while, an odd thing to want to do by my reckoning but they seem to love this.  So Dominica and I went to a restaurant on the plaza close enough that we could just watch the girls from there and got café con leche to keep ourselves entertained while they played.  We did end up getting some patatas bravas, as Dominica can never resist them, that we split and some fig mousse too.

The girls did a good job of making friends with other kids on the plaza but when some of them had to leave Liesl ended up being very sad and crying alone on the monument for a while.

We met some Americans from Florida who were wandering the plaza when they stopped to give beads to the girls.  We never figured out why they had beads in the first place.  The were retirees traveling the Mediterranean on the Holland America ship the Amsterdam which was moored in the harbour.

Once we were done on the plaza we went north to the ocean and found a neat garden that had a historical board that explained these coloured lines running around the city and how to use them to follow different historical paths.  What a neat idea and well done.  We loved the idea and so decided to take the orange path, the one that takes you to the city defenses.  This was a great idea because Liesl could find the orange line on the sidewalk and lead us all along the path.  She thought that this was great fun.

This was a nice walk and led us to the big constitution monument of 1812 that I had discovered last night.  We spent a little time here so that Dominica could see the monument.  We looked at the available historical walking paths from here and then had Liesl take us farther on the orange route which ended up going along, in the opposite direction, much of what I had walked last night on my post-midnight walk.

We walked along the old defensive wall and to the Alemeda (mall) near our apartment which was very nice.  The girls were having a rough day by this point.  They were tired and ready for a break.  Luciana had been begging to be in the stroller all day which was causing no end of problems and Liesl had been requesting food but never got any.

We started exploring looking for somewhere to get food for Liesl who really just wanted simple pasta.  We explored the north end of the city, which is one of the less interesting sections of the city mostly less interesting, old residential, but Liesl, always with a strong sense of direction, managed to lead us to a plaza with several restaurants that would have been perfect – had only we not arrived right at five thirty when everything shuts down and the kitchens all close.  Had we just wanted coffee we would have been fine but wanting food meant that we were out of options.

We gave up and returned to our apartment so that the girls could play with their new toys from yesterday.  It was probably six once we really settled in.

I nearly immediately went out to do some more walking and exploring in the hopes of figuring out the food situation for later.  I did a nice walk for a while, heading east, and checking out several plazas to see what food options might exist.  I found a few, eventually, that looked like they would be interesting and might meet our needs.  It was around seven thirty when I crossed through the biggest of the plazas and the whole place was really packed with people having dinner.

I found a pastry shop and got a few different things to bring back for the family.  I got some muffins for the girls and a cornetta, plus some tuna pockets and spinach things for Dominica and me.

It was probably eight when I got back to the apartment.  We snacked on the pastries, discussed what we might want to do for dinner, decided on a place and I got pictures uploading to Flickr while I was sitting for a while.

At nine thirty I finally got everyone moving for another walk to find dinner. Dominica had decided on a low key place called Boulevard that was on a small side street between two plazas.  This ended up being an excellent choice.  They were not busy at all, no one was for some reason, and we pretty much had the front room to ourselves which was nearly all glass so it seemed a bit like sitting out on the street yet was warm and inside.

Dominica got paella.  She is addicted to all of the rice that they have in Spain.  Liesl got pasta with tomato sauce. Luciana got pasta with butter.  I got potato salad with octopus, which was very spicy, and some French fries that everyone shared.  It was all very good.

After dinner, which was pushing eleven at night, we just walked back to the apartment.  Everyone was tired and now there was no more complaining about being hungry.  So time to get everyone to bed.

Dominica and the girls all went to bed right away.  Dominica did not like the bed that she slept in last night so stole the one that I had slept in in the girls’ room.  So Luciana and Liesl moved themselves to the big bed so that they could snuggle with me later.  I set them up with iPads, as it was early, and went out for a late walk on my own again.

I walked pretty slowly this time out as my right foot was pretty badly blistered.  I did enough to hit nearly 35,000 steps and over 14.5 miles just since last midnight when my health app on my iPhone resets for the day!  That’s pretty impressive.  I didn’t stop walking and did about another hour.

I did some wandering just around different streets in the middle of the city to see what I might have missed.  There is so much hidden around every little corner.  These ancient cities are so interesting.

Andy called me at one in the morning.  Fortunately I was out on the street and not in the apartment so it did not wake anyone up.

Got into bed around one thirty. Luciana had already fallen fast asleep.  Liesl was up and watching her iPad.