International Travel with a Four Year Old – Day 10: Cadiz, Spain

Cadiz, Spain, located close to the strait of Gibraltar, is a southern point of the Iberian peninsula. Because of this, it stays fairly warm all year long. Today was no exception. In fact, it was our warmest day of our journey so far, reaching 70 degrees fahrenheit at the warmest point of the day. We lounged around a bit outside and Declan and I even hit the pool after the day’s events. More on that later.

This was my favorite port so far, as we didn’t have to take a bus to get into the city. Our ship was just right there at the side of the island, less than five minutes walk from getting off the ship to being on the sidewalk on our way into the city.

The city is also the smallest city we’ve been to, smaller than even Livorno. That makes sense, since it’s on an island and we can see the whole of it from our balcony. We got here very early but set off around 9:30 this morning. We got a small bite to eat at a local restaurant before hitting my main point of interest, the Mercado Central Cadiz.

This type of place is what I love about Spain. Their open air markets serve as central locations for people to gather and hang out, while strolling along and looking at all of their various offerings. From fresh caught sea food of all kinds to meats and breads and produce and all kinds of tiny prepared food stands, you are likely to find something delicious to eat or bring home here. This is exactly the kind of place I wish we had more of where we live.

The big draw for Rob was a local churros shop. Churros are big here, and the place we went was the highest rated one around. We got some to share and were not disappointed. It was a lot of fried food, however.

Declan and Jodie also found some good bread at a stand and I tried some sherry wine, a local specialty here. It was good and sweet, and Jodie and I each got a small glass. We also ate at a local spot that was supposed to have tapas, but they didn’t. We got appetizers and a few drinks instead. Jodie ordered a margarita which was way too sour, but I got some sangria to share instead of forcing her to drink it.

For the record, one of the stands at the mercado was a doner kebab stand. I am not raving about completing my quest to find a delicious kebab because it was shut down. I shall live to search another day.

The other thing we did was an archaeological site where they found the remains of an almost 3000 year old Phoenecian (Canaanite) city. It was neat seeing the ruins. Obviously, it was not in as good of shape as Pompeii, but we got a good glimpse into the way they lived their lives.

They even found skeletal remains there when they dug it up. They assume that he died inhaling smoke during a fire that overtook the city. He likely broke his leg trying to escape. Overall, a pretty bad way to go.

After we had had our fill of fried food and Spanish wines, it was time to go back to the ship. We sat up on the top deck and just soaked in the sun for a little while, because our room wasn’t quite clean when we got back. Shortly after, it was time to fulfill Declan’s dream of finally going to check out the pool.

Jodie hung out in the room recovering from the fried food while Declan and I donned our swimsuits and headed to the pool one deck above. He wanted to try the big slides, and while he was just shy of being tall enough to ride, they let him go up anyway.

I went up with him, and I coached him a bit on how to do it, since this was his first time going down a big slide. That was a mistake. He went down, but I didn’t see him coming out at the bottom. Then, I heard his little voice, panicked. Then I panicked.

I looked to the attendant to see if he had a good solution, but quickly realized I needed to go down and force him down the slide. He didn’t make it very far on his trip down before he stopped himself and hung on for dear life. Thankfully I managed to scoop him right up safely and we went down on our way together. He was very thankful that Dad came to the rescue. I was very thankful I didn’t hurt him and that he hadn’t inhaled much water as he tried to hold himself up.

So, some excitement, plenty of sun and fried food, and a little bit of history. Over all, a really nice day here in Cadiz. Tomorrow, we are off to Portugal as we dock in Lisbon, one of the biggest destination for expatriates. That city is on my list of places I would consider in case of sociopolitical emergency back home. We will find out tomorrow if it’s what it’s cracked up to be.

So long, Spain!

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