Cádiz: A Drive Worth Taking

I’m fortunate enough to have a grandmother who has been to Europe a few times.  When she heard I was going to Southern Spain she said, “If at all possible, take the drive to Cádiz.”  I could not be more glad that I heeded her advice and we took the 2.5 hour long drive along the coast to this incredible city.  Of the excursions we took whilst staying in Málaga, Cádiz was BY FAR my favorite place.

Luckily, it wasn’t hard to convince Scott’s family that this would be a road trip worth taking.  We loaded into our tiny, black, European car and started our journey West.  This was our first major excursion in which we were able to drive ourselves (and not get nauseous on an over-stuffed bus) and it was amazing to get to see the Spanish countryside in a more intimate manner.  We saw coastlines, mountains, tiny villages, acres of sunflower fields and  whitewashed towns nestled into hillsides.

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When we arrived in Cádiz, we began wandering through quintessential, narrow, European alleys.  We were there fairly early in the day, but we were craving paella so we found a small restaurant that was cooking up their first batch of the day.  We agreed that it would be nice to simply sit, sip some drinks, watch the passerby and wait for the freshest paella we could possibly get.

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During our time in Spain, we explored many grand and incredibly ornate cathedrals.  The most elegant and interesting of all of these places, was the Catedral de Cádiz.  The photos below outline our discovery of the detailed arches, expansive pews, and ancient crypt below.

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Scott likes to take pictures of me staring in awe

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The most elegant organ
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Another incredible organ in the loft of the cathedral
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One of the many alters.  This one is made entirely of precious metals.
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An image from the crypt below full of respected religious figures.

After thoroughly trekking through the interior of the cathedral, we went back out into a beautiful and bustling square and saw that one of the bell towers was open for exploration.  It was a long, long climb through narrow passage ways to the top, but we couldn’t resist.  Scott’s grandma agreed to wait on the elegant stone steps of the cathedral while we made the climb to the top.  We could not have anticipated the views we would be rewarded with.  The bells of this cathedral spend their days peering out over 360 degree views of the entire city and two stunning coastlines.

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Looking out of one of the few windows on the windy climb up the bell tower.

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After seeing the city in its entirety from an elevated view, we decided to see some of it up close and personal on foot.  We took the climb back down the tower and walked down the coast line.  We stopped several times to take in new views of the city and eventually came upon a castle.  The castle was only accessible by one pathway that cut through the turquoise waters.  We had a blast running down the bridge path and jumping off of it onto micro beaches and rocks with waves crashing against them.

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Our one week in Málaga had many excursions to lovely places such as Gibraltar, Ronda, and Puerto Banús, but if I could revisit just one of these places it would most certainly be Cádiz.  The scenery, food, history, and culture were astounding and we were only there for a matter of hours!  Should we return to Southern Spain in our lifetime, Cádiz will definitely be our home base.

This is the final installment of our time on the Spanish mainland.  My next account will take us to the Spanish island of Ibiza were Scott and I spent four days alone dancing, exploring, eating, people watching, and getting much more sunshine.

-Lexi

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