After our day trip visits to Arcos de la Frontera and Ronda, we spent the night in Cadiz. The old part of the city is surrounded by an ancient wall, referred to as the Casco Antiguo.
Our hotel was absolutely the tiniest hotel I have ever seen. Modern, almost futuristic, it was clean as a whistle. I imagine, as the hallways were so narrow, guests squeezing past each other kept the walls polished and shiny. The elevator was the size of a phone booth (Aside: if you remember what a phone booth is, my friend, you are O-L-D) so if you had a big suitcase, only one person could go up to the room at a time.
What I like about Cadiz is that it seemed like an ancient version of New Orleans. Hot and sultry, the visitors and townspeople lingered in the smoky cafes until past midnight, bare shouldered women in gauzy skirts and sandaled untucked men fanning themselves, ordering more drinks. Lots of frying, evident in a slightly greasy, though not unpleasant breeze. Definitely a beach town vibe.
The next morning we had breakfast at the hotel, as it was included with our stay. Wait a minute, what's this in the buffet? The package read Crema de Jamon...could it be the Spanish cousin to the infamous Shinken-Creme I experienced in Munich? Is creamed ham at breakfast an international phenomenon across Europe? Maybe it tastes like spreadable Spam, or an old fashioned white paper wrapped can of deviled ham, or pureed Vienna sausage, or one of those blegful varieties of potted meats prominently featured in my grandparents pantry (yes, I said blegful. Figure it out.) Alas, I would never know. I returned to the buffet too late, and the wait staff were already removing the breakfast food.
My son and I picked up a couple of small bottles of jerez (sherry)for his grandfather, plus a tray of local candy, Turron de Cadiz, which disappeared as soon as we got into the van.
Miles and miles of dead sunflower fields on the road to Seville. For hours, this is all we saw. Legions of desiccated, brown stems, gargantuan cyclops faces slumped and downturned in mass disappointment. Amazing how a dead plant can influence your perspective.