by Ariel Pearl-Butler, Abbey Road Student, Spain 2014
While I am not going to Spain until July, I am getting very excited to be staying on the coast of Andalucia, in Cádiz. I did my own research and have put together a list of the top ten attractions and sights (as well as experiences) I am most looking forward to in Cádiz.
1. Catedral de Cádiz
Looking over the Atlantic Ocean, this two-hundred-year-old cathedral took six architects and 116 years to build (1772-1838). The building’s interior includes baroque design and is the final resting point of the well-known composer Manuel de Falla. One of the towers is open to the public and boasts panoramic views of the city and the surrounding ocean.
2. El Flamenco
Flamenco, which is a form of Spanish folk dance, was originally from Andalucia and was first documented in the late 18th century. The dance involves singing and dancing, which occur simultaneously with a Flamenco Guitar and more often than not, hand-clapping. During a performance, the bailaores or bailaoras wears beautiful clothing full of bright reds and oranges (black for men), and gracefully sweep his or her arms, in sync to the stomping on the ground.
3. La Playa de la Muralla
Just North East of Cádiz, la Playa de la Muralla is located in the town of El Puerto de Santa María. The beach spreads 800 meters and is adjacent to the castle of Santa Catalina.
The word “tapas” literally means to cover, which is now a loose term for a snack or appetizer in Spain. Very popular in Andalucia, tapas were influenced by the North African Moors in the 8th century CE and the Spanish discovery of North and South America. More specifically, Cádiz is known for its tortillas de camerones or shrimp fritters, and its chanquetes or whitebait.
5. Mercado Central
This covered market is the oldest in Spain, and is the center of the town, with the freshest seafood and ingredients from local farmers.
6. El Tiempo
While some are turned off by the hot, dry weather on La Costa de La Luz, it will be the perfect opportunity for me to shed off winter layers and enjoy warm, coastal nights. During the hottest parts of the day, I will be able to relax inside during the siesta.
7. Aqualand Bahia de Cádiz
As one of the possible excursions outside of the city of Cádiz, the Aqualand water park in El Puerto de Santa María has a wide range of attractions and could be a great way to cool off.
8. El Estadio Ramón de Carranza
The main football (soccer) stadium in the city is home to the Cádiz FC team that plays in the third level of division B in Spain. The team often hosts home games in the stadium.
While Cádiz may not be known for its shopping, several streets in its vicinity are filled with boutiques and shops. These include Calle Columela, Plaza del Palillero, Calle San Francisco and Ancha.
10. Las Personas
While this is my first time in Cádiz, I am sure that, like any town, I will have the opportunity to meet many interesting people and improve my Spanish. Cádiz has a rich cultural history, but it is also said to be the home of some of the friendliest residents in Spain.