Having left the continent of Africa a week ago, it was fascinating to come through the Straits of Gibraltar and then dock in Cadiz, Spain where we could look across the waterway and see Africa once again. Cadiz is a famous seaport where explorers of the new world departed from and returned to with their ill-gotten treasures. It is a very protected harbour that opens to the Mediterranean on one side and the Atlantic on the other.
The beaches here stretch for miles and are wider than we have ever seen. The beach communities are all decorated in white paints due to the extreme temperatures during the summer months. It is springtime here in Cadiz and the temperatures are in the low sixties making it very pleasant for touring and not warm enough to swim in the ocean although there are many surfers out in the surf.
We are only a few miles west of Gibraltar and one of the beach towns is Trafalger Cove where the Battle of Trafalger was fought and where Admiral Nelson was fatally wounded. It would be very easy to settle in for a month long stay in any of these seaside towns. Seafoood restaurants abound and the markets make for easy shopping for provisions. The narrow streets appear unchanged from centuries back. This area also has one of the largest protected pine forests in the country. The umbrella pines form almost a carpet like covering to the hills that run up from the sea. Another spot where we would come back to in a moment’s notice.
Next stop is around the corner and into the Atlantic Ocean and the port of Lisbon, Portugal and the Easter weekend. As we left the harbour we could see the annual Easter procession heading to the Cathedral with band members, a large “float” honouring the Virgin Mary (unusual for Easter) and those following in white hats doing penance.