Thursday, 9 July 2015

June 18, 2015- Cadiz, Spain

Another Terrible Room Service Breakfast, Meeting with Nuria about Deficiencies on Ship, Explore Cadiz, Spain on foot, an Afternoon at the Beach in Cadiz, Dinner in Our Room

Last night we had to set our clocks two hours ahead for today. Because of this, and because we had no excursion booked for today, we decided to try and get as much sleep in as possible, although it was still well less than 8 hours.

We ordered in breakfast today and once again room service was up to some of their bizarre practices. This included placing plastic wrap over top of the hot water pots for tea. This has happened before, much to our chagrin, and as plastic wrap is a very poor material for insulation it leaves the water at a much less desirable temperature for steeping tea. It’s bad enough that the quality of the tea is not up to our usual standard, but making it worse by furnishing us with lukewarm tea water is simply unacceptable. Why do these teapots not have lids? Even we have a lid on our teapot and we don't claim to be promoting "haute cuisine" like Costa.

When April opened her box of Rice Krispies there was a hole in the top of the package. Bill gave the Rice Krispies a try and determined that they were indeed stale and unsuitable for human consumption, although rodents may have enjoyed gnawing at them to hone down their front incisors.
After reporting these deficiencies to Nuria, our “English speaking hostess,” on the ship along with the dark-hair-longer-than-Bill’s-but-shorter-than-April’s that we found nestled in a bath towel in our room, and 2/3 of our fluorescent strip of lights being burnt out in our cabin (2nd time a light has been faulty), we ventured out into Cadiz. Nuria gave us a very helpful overview of Cadiz, including the main sites, nearby beach, and local food specialties.

The old town of Cadiz (near to Seville) is in sharp contrast to our ports of call in Morocco. It is quaint, quiet, and peaceful. We wandered the narrow cobble stone streets and eventually made our way to a café where we ordered tuna steaks and shrimp tortillas, both of which are Cadiz specialties. April did a magnificent job of ordering in Spanish and comprehending the waiter while Bill had a deer-in-the-headlights expression on his face.

After lunch (and stopping for gelato on the main drag) we found our way to Playa de la Caleta, the main beach of Cadiz that is nestled between the Castello di San Sebastian and the Castello di Santa Catalina (forts). Apparently a James Bond film where Halle Berry steps out of the ocean was filmed here. It was a glorious day for the beach and exactly what we had hoped and planned for the day: a morning walk and a beach day under the southern Spanish sun without a cloud in the sky.

On our walk back to the ship, we stopped to get some agua con gas, which was much more carbonated than the Italian water back aboard, as well as procuring two mind-blowing white chocolate Magnum ice cream bars. Once again, we wondered why when European brands bring a product to Canada, they dilute the recipe. The quality of the chocolate and the ice cream is so much better in Europe!

As we walked back to the ship, we observed the architecture of the main church, which was a fascinating amalgam of Christian and Moorish architecture with domes and spires. From its front entrance it looked like a traditional Catholic church, but from the side and back it looked more like it belonged in perhaps Istanbul.

We boarded the ship and decided that we should try and catch up on our blog posts, photo organization, and most importantly, get a longer night’s sleep, so we ordered room service, which consisted of our usual chicken Caesar salad, tuna sandwich, roast beef sandwich, orange juice, tea, milk, and fruit salad as a result of the severely limited and boring room service menu.

The ship departed at 6pm for Lisbon.

In the evening April was starting to feel unwell.

8.2 km walked today.

Cadiz was a lovely change of pace. It was quiet and safe and we felt very relaxed while we searched for lunch and the beach to swim at.

We enjoyed this graffiti rendering of a cat.

Shrimp tortillas and a roasted pepper and the coldest, most refreshing Spanish Coca Cola for lunch.

Pigeons abound in Europe and choose wherever they want to sit.

The famous James Bond beach in Cadiz on the left.

The fort in Cadiz.

The main church in Cadiz looks Orthodox and like it belongs in Istanbul from the back and side.

From the front this church looked very Catholic.

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