Cadiz, Vejer, Tarifa and the sea side

Very unfortunate it is but I forgot my camera today for the trip to Tarifa – so you have to simply rely on my descriptions or otherwise google some pics on the net (is „to google“ already a linguistically recognised verb?). The city seemed to be more a village and somewhat more modest in appearance than one would imagine for such a distinctive geografical point: the most sothern point of continental Europe where the Atlantic Ocean meets the Mediterranian Sea! This is quite an important landmark, and always was – at least as far as Phonicians, Romans and Arabs were concerned. After the conquest by the catholic kings it seemed to have had more of a military importance as the main ports and thus trading points were moved to Sevilla and afterwards to Cadiz.

The modern part of the city has a similar proletarian charm as Ronda and most of the other cites of Andalusia I visted. The old medina is surrounded by heavy and high stone walls which are still existing, much to the contrary of other cities, where the city walls had to clear the way for the urban expansion. The medina sees some superficial reconstruction works, rarely flowers on the walls and most of the time closed shops and restaurants. It seems that surfing period is over and people don´t see any sense in keeping their premises open for a handful of tourists.
The harbour was not accessible “for unauhtorised persons” nor the light house, which was kept under military surveillance. Somewhat disappointed I walked my way back from the area of the light house towards the medina with its white little houses, neatly stuck one beside the other. At an ugly little pup beside an awkward place of the harbour I stopped, as a pleasant smell was kreeping in my nose. Overcoming my reluctance and suspiciousness I got seated and ordered some tapas – fried little fish (kao nase girice samo bez glave)  and grilled scampi. You may guess – yes, it was so tasty, that I had to correct myself and suggest to you – don´t always judge by the appearance and first impression, you might miss wonderful things. After this tasty small meal I bought some sweets for home and headed towards the hotel.

Actually, I didn´t spend very much words about the accomodations I stayed at. While the hotels in Sevilla and Cordoba were rather modest and purly functional for touristic purposes, the ones in Granada and Tarifa were simply great. Casa de Capitel Nazari is centrally located at the foot of Albaciyn and reminds me of the riads I stayed at in Morocco. People were extremely friendly and helpful (particularly with the entry to the Alhambra, which I forgot to book on time), clean rooms and good atmosphere. They don´t call themselves like that but I consider it a real Boutique-hotel. Should you ever come to Granada, I may highly recommend to stay with them You see my room on pic no 3 in the first row, as I didn´t take one. I only took a photo of the view from my room:


Dos Mares in Tarifa is at the very beach and apparently a beloved place to stay for windsurfers. The hotel is middle class, but fine for three stars, would eventually need some refurbishment, but is still a cosy place to be. And you see the seaside from every place of the hotel! The only critics is addressed to the restaurant which was quite limited in selection of food and rather expensive compared to other restaurants.

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Before my trip to Tarifa I did a walk along the beach. Actually it was my intention to reach Tarifa on foot. The receptionist warned me about a river I would have to cross, but I thought that this would be much of an exaggeration what she called a river. It caught me by surprise, when after 3 km I had my way crossed by this very river, which was at first glance – as I assumed – narrow and not much of a big deal. However, it turned out to be an unsuperable barrier! I was prepared to wet my feet up to the knees, but not up to my stomach! It was so deep, I just couldn´t believe it and had – so it said a weired hippy from the other side of the river – several „tsunami“ swirls. No chance, I had to retreat and drive to Tarifa. See the enormous river here:
On my way back I watched some funny birds, which looked like mice, thought they were dogs (the were running much more than flying)  and ran like Charly Chaplin. Grey at the back and a white stomach they looked so funny when they were escaping quickly with their little legs. They seemed to anxiouslywait for the waves to bring some food for them, as they were constantly picking the sand. Whatever it was, it must have been microscopically small, as it was invisible to the naked eye. I also watched some fishermen and their effort in vain to get some fish. I was wondering how they could succeed as fish were not that stupid to get mashed in the heavy waves. The only fruit they got from the sea was sea grass – see the pic .


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Yesterday I also had a lazy day, slept till late and left towards Cadiz at 11.30 h after breakfast! The city is a medium sized one with 130.000 inhabitants and seems to consist of only one huge and long road, which leads from the continent to the island city. The access road is similar to the one that approaches Venice, with the sea (or more precise the OCEAN) on both sides of the street. The medina has still partially its city wall and is visibly a city of barock and classicizm, as this was the period it took over the colonial trade from Sevilla and gained most of its wealth. People are friendly and greeting each other (which th exception of a sales man at the market, who pissed me off. I was supposed to tell him how much cheese i would buy and only then would I be allowed to taste), they don´t seem to be in a hurry nor to have any particular need to work. The streets were quite crowed for this time of the day, and it was not by tourists. I did some extensive purchases of cheese and salami. The cheese from the photo is my absolute favorite! It is a hard and mature cheese, but still kept in liquid.

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After Cadiz I drove off to Vejer de la Frontera, stopping at Colin de la Frontera, taking a walk alongside the wide sandy beach. Otherwise there is not much to report, with the exception that I lost my way due to lack of signalistation, which was quite unique in Spain. The sea helped me to orientate myself and I found my way to Vejer and to Tarifa afterwards. For the rest, just see the pics and enjoy them!

Vejer de la Frontera and the Seaside


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And finally at 18.45 it was getting dark……luckily I was back on track!


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