Dec 3 – CADIZ (near Seville Spain)

Dec 3 – CADIZ  Spain.  (the port nearest to Seville)
Now in the Mediterranean. Brian & I had been to Seville back in 2003 and chose not to spend the day travelling back & forth on coach into the city – but walked off and into the old city of Cadiz. And I mean OLD.
Cádiz, is the oldest continuously inhabited city in Spain and one of the oldest in western Europe. Phoenicians, Carthaginians, Greeks and Byzantium Roman’s all mention this strategic port in their historic records.  On a neck of land, now connected by modern bridges, Cadiz is still a busy port with a thriving ship-building industry and the city is full of old streets and plazas. With obviously prosperous high end development along the scenic waterfront in all directions.

One of the best advantages of arriving/departing on the Queen Victoria is the height. We have fabulous views over each port from our 10 story viewing deck  – and I made a point to always get up there on arrival. The light was usually wonderful at this early part of the day.

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Souvenirs to appeal to the large contingent of British tourists. If I had a grand”daughter” even I would have been tempted by the little flamenco dresses.
And you just can’t get enough “shakesbeer”

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The huge promenade frontage of Cadiz is dominated by the Cathedral de Cadiz

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The original stone walls of the port are now protected from the sea by this jumble of angular blocks. Not all that attractive but a great haven for dozens of feral cats sleeping in the winter sun. The promonade brings you to the tidal isthmus where the old fort remains with full access to the public.

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Brian happily took off along the walled road to the fort with lots of birds on the tidal stretches to keep him busy for at least a couple of hours. So I chose my location (he likes me to stay in one spot so he can find me again ;-) and sat down to paint. Although the view of the sea/fort was tempting…the shadows on the old walls got me. I laid in some washes and captured a few of the local characters in the sketch.

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Each of the paintings done along the way became fodder for my teaching demos, and I saved some of the final color washes for the ship. I love that there is a little sailing ship sculpture on the very top of the gate, and as with every other european city the young women get around in high heels on the rough cobbled streets & sidewalks.

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We enjoyed the rest of the afternoon using the Hop-on/off bus complete with historic commentary and walked a little bit more before heading back to the ship.

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Rumour has it Columbus brought back some of the old trees that grace Cadiz. Hard to tell – but this fig tree was ancient and stretched for 60 feet in either direction.

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The busy Plaza de San Juan de Diaz.

Without going into Seville we enjoyed a wonderful taste of Spanish culture and history in Cadiz. It is SO hard to decide where to go off the ship – as there is so little time. You’re just getting a snapshot of a place. We try and taste the local food (Tuna empanadas recommended by a local) and find out as much as possible on the history of unusual places.
Travelling with Brian makes it even more of a tour visit (as opposed to a painting adventure)  trying to see and take in as much as possible on our excursions.
So…You’ll see far more photos than paintings/sketches in the next half of the journey.
But off we go – on to Barcelona !

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