2012 March 24 – Day 13 – Cadiz, Spain (Day 1)

It took the bus an hour to drive around Old Cadiz, cross the bridge and go into the countryside to our destination.  Cactus makes a very effective fence.

Near Jerez de La Frontera we stopped at the stadium on the Los Alburejos farm.  This large farm is still owned by the Domecqu family that came from France in the 18th century.  Much of the agricultural farms and ranches in Spain are owned by a few multi-generation landowners.  They own huge tracts of land and grow a large variety of crops; from forage crops, to olive groves, grapes for sherry, lemons, oranges, etc.  Los Alburejos raises bulls for the bullfights and Andalusion horses to work on the ranch and in the ring.

The demonstrations of horsemanship and the beautiful gaits of the Andalusions made for a good show.  Many of the riders were very young, but very comfortable in the saddle. The big bulls and cows are ‘herded’ with a long pole. This young chap was good a balancing that long pole.

The head riders gave a wonderful example of dressage horsemanship on a couple of beautiful horses. After the show many of the riders went behind the stadium seats and got a drink from the concession stand.  It was quite a stretch to get back on the horse for some of them.

Then it was back on the bus for the ride to Cadiz. After a quick ice cream cone and cookie lunch we set off to explore; city map clutched tightly in hand.  We had been warned that it is very easy to get lost in an old town such as Cadiz.  (It was founded by the Phoenicians in the 14th century and is the oldest continuously inhabited city in the Western world.) There is no pattern to the streets, no cross streets and tall, close buildings that block sight lines.

This was an intentional protection technique used by towns and villages that were frequently attacked by invaders and pirates.  The locals knew how to navigate the streets but strangers would get hopelessly muddled thus giving folks time to hide or prepare defense attacks.

We made a leisurely loop around the peninsula of Old Cadiz keeping to the sea side on our way out and returning through the center; arriving back at the ship an hour and a half later.

The blossoms on the trees in the Plaza de Candelaria were very pretty. Notice the rain spots on the camera lens.  It quit awhile later. Tempting as it was to sample one of the oranges hanging on the trees we resisted.  These oranges are very sour. They are used for marmalade.

All the entrances to upper stories in the buildings were walled with beautiful colourful tiles. Back on board it was time for dinner and sorting the many, many photos we took that day before heading to bed.  8:30 am tour into Seville the next day.



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