Today we are hiking in Cádiz, the little silver cup.
In our walk through Cádiz we entered the city through the impressive Puente de la Constitución of 1812, popularly known as the Puente de la Pepa, the popular name given to this Constitution, the first to be enacted in the history of Spain and very liberal for his time. It is an impressive bridge of almost three kilometers in length and that allows to reach the city center directly. When we are on top of it we become aware of the privileged situation of Cádiz, where this city resides, the oldest in Europe, located on an isthmus, completely surrounded by the sea and now, without any possibility of growth. Its geographical location has given it a fundamental role in the history of Western civilization over the centuries.
From the bridge, we go around the city enjoying the different corners that hide the maritime edge of the city. The industrial port, the walls of San Carlos, the gardens of Alameda Apodaca, the Baluarte de la Candelaria, the Genovés Park, the Castle of Santa Catalina, the beach of La Caleta, the Tree of Mora to reach its famous Malecon. There we parked and started to walk along this promenade that borders the sea and that takes us towards the historic center of the city. In the Malecón de Cádiz you can feel Havana, in fact there is a popular song whose lyrics say “Havana is Cádiz with more negritos, Cádiz is Havana with more salero (arte)” by Carlos Cano, a famous Andalusian composer. It is very common to see the people of Cadiz walking through it, fishing from its rocks and even diving in its blue waters at different times of the day. It seems that they are talking to the sea, telling them their things, the gaditanos maintain an intimate relationship with the sea with which they have always lived together. The image of the Malecón is always accompanied by the silhouette of the Cathedral of Cádiz in the background, the Cathedral of Santa María del Mar, a jewel of Andalusian architecture, to which we are going because we urgently need to get to know it and explore all its secrets.
We arrived at the Plaza de la Catedral and the first thing that impresses us is its exterior appearance. It is a building built over many years and in two phases, hence its two types of stones and their two colors. The economic crises caused that the cathedral has a varied style, because of the French invasions and the later loss of the power on America.
Before getting inside, we make a stop to take a sweet temper at Casa Hidalgo, one of the oldest patisseries in the city with an assortment of exquisite typical Cadiz sweets. It was the first establishment in the city that sold the empanadas. Others have followed the trail but without approaching the quality of Hidalgo’s product. A clientele that has become the main advertiser of the excellence of the product sold there. Like the Roscón de Reyes or the turrón de Cádiz. All away from the industrial bakery and frozen dough. That is why they prefer to limit the daily production of cakes and empanadas so that, at the end of the day, there is nothing left to sell and that each day what is displayed in the display is freshly made, handcrafted early in the morning. the morning.
After our gastronomic break, we enter the Cathedral. The Cathedral of Santa María is a show of lights inside, through its windows and stained glass windows enter the solar rays charged with a marine light, bright, creating a decoration that seems artificially illuminated. It is a tiny cathedral but very charming. The visit is usually quiet and without queues, or crowds, which gives a mystical experience. Apart from this show of lights and backlights, it highlights its huge crypt with a stone ceiling and walls that is located just below the main altar and that could have served as a setting for any of the films of the Harry Potter saga. Many of the illustrious figures of the city reside in this crypt, among them the famous musician and composer Manuel de Falla or the poet Jose María Pemán.
To finish the visit we climb to its belfry, known as the Clock Tower, a limestone quadrangular from which we can comptemplar magnificent views of the entire city and the Atlantic Ocean. The climb is made by a circular ramp through which we gradually gain altitude and discovering at each step more blue of the ocean and white houses of Cadiz. From there, just like when we entered the city through the Constitution Bridge, we became aware of the beautiful natural place in which Cádiz is located.
After our visit we went to the Victoria Beach to take a bath and have lunch in one of its chiringitos and say goodbye to Cádiz taking the Atlantic salt in our skin and full stomach. This beach has approximately 3 kilometers in length and is considered the best urban beach in Europe. It has also been receiving the blue flag uninterrupted since 1987 and is the first beach in Spain that also has a certification of environmental management and Q of Quality Tourism.
See you in the next article ;)
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