April 17-18, 2012 – Through the Strait of Gibraltar to Cadiz, Spain
We went through the Strait of Gibraltar in the middle of the night, but Sally and I got up ……..
..to watch. We took these pictures, obviously not the best quality, but the one on the left is the European side, with the rock barely discernable, and the one on the right is the African side.
Back to bed, to rest up for Cadiz in the morning.
Cadiz, on the West Coast of Spain was a major port during the period that the Spanish were exploiting the riches of the new world. It was the port of entry for most of the gold & silver brought from America.
We have visited here once before and I believe we took a ships tour of the area, from which the only thing I remember was visiting the “counting house” where King Phillip’s men accounted for the incoming gold. That wasn’t on our agenda this time, as we spotted the Hop On Bus, which has spread throughout Europe like a beneficial virus. If you plan to visit any of these places (I suppose they have them in U.S. ports also) they are a wonderful combination of tour and transportation at a fraction of the cost of the ships tours or taxis.
Worthy of a picture and some discussion. This is a restroom, or W.C. as it is called universally outside the U.S. They are scattered around town. Very handy, provided you have a 20c Euro coin.
This Hop On circuit is relatively short – we made the complete circuit in one hour and stayed on past the start to a stop at a department store. It was a modern, new store, which kind of reminded me of a Dillards in Texas – name brands and all types of goods – clothes, electronics, home appliances, etc. We stayed about an hour, and amazingly bought nothing. We “hopped on” again and rode to the central square, anchored by this large church.
Sally bought some postcards and stamps and we sat in the square, eating lunch, drinking Sangria, writing postcards, and listening to a Jazz guitarist playing on the street. It definitely does not get any better than this. When these days and times come along in your life – seize them!!!!
After lunch we “Hopped On” and rode to a park area about as far away from the town center as we could get. It appears as if a former military installation has been renovated and become a park with a unique walkway on the ocean’s edge. A thoroughly pleasant walk along the sea and through the park.
We chose to walk back to the town center, navigating through the narrow streets with the aid of the Hop On route map. It was an extremely interesting walk and we successfully found our way back and then through a market and to the ship.
Unlike many of the markets we have seen on this trip – this was newly constructed and modern. We returned to the ship, but since we aren’t leaving until 11:00, we came back out for dinner. And now off to Madeira, our last stop before heading home. So sad – we aren’t ready to quit!