Saturday, March 30, 2019

Cadiz Part 2

This was the view from the apartment I rented, pretty spectacular!
The sunrises were amazing from here as well. The apartment itself was comfortable and central, close to the Cathedral and really close to the market.

I visited the Museum of Cadiz, Plaza de Mina, which contains the merged Fine Arts and Archaeological Museums. 
Left: male Phoenician anthropoid sarcophagus found in 1887.
Right: Female found in 1980.
Strong looking women
As in Sevilla, pretty much every time there is a dig for a building, archaeology ruins are found so the collection in this museum keeps expanding. It is well laid out and is used as a place of study as well as for the general public. Some of the objects found are in pristine condition, even complete glass vases which surprised me. I took many more photos, too many to include here.

Fine Arts are located on the first floor (second in North America). A couple of my favourites.

Second floor holds the Contemporary Arts pieces which for me were amusing, bizarre and likeable.
Not the best picture, sculpture inside a glass case, but does speak for itself, he's chained to a TV.
Pure Spanish, arch behind, palm tree, mantilla...
Pure whimsy! Part of a large collection of like paintings, it was hard to decide which to photograph.
That is my very light coverage of the museum, if you are interested further here is the website

Aside from the food tour I ate well in the city, often around the central market where restaurants line both sides of it and for a stroll afterward, the flower market was close by which was a delight. My favourite was called Anca Lidia.
Prawns in garlic, hot pepper, butter and hake fish wrapped in a cornmeal coating, absolute yum!
Here are some buildings and sites I took photos of just walking around. Cadiz is on an island with a large port, you can easily walk to the coastline in any direction and sometimes without meaning to. 
Still decorated for Carnival, there was confetti all over the sidewalks and streets, I arrived the day after it finished (on purpose).
I loved the detail on this building and that street lamp is what type hang throughout the streets here.
Santa Cruz Church
Okay, what is this? It is a water fountain for adults, children and dogs, one of many installed recently in the city. I liked that it was designed for children and dogs too.
From Lexi who enjoyed curling up in the sunny spots in the apartment.
So that was my mini trip to Cadiz. Honestly Monday afternoon was difficult, it took me moving from one restaurant to another to get served and I felt invisible, thought maybe I should just return to Sevilla. The next day I decided not to give up and continue exploring and started to enjoy myself. By the end of the week I didn't want to leave and isn't that the feeling that one should have after a good vacation?

Cheers, Bev and Lexi Cat

Monday, March 18, 2019

Cadiz Part 1 - Food Tour

The tour copied from AirBnB Experiences

About your host
I am local from Cádiz. After eight years living abroad and working in tourism, I am back in my lovely hometown. Passionate about sharing local experiences, food and stories about this wonderful city.

Contact host

What we’ll do
Discover the main central market, the best place to learn about local products. You will participate in the whole process of market shopping like a local, visiting the stands and interacting with the vendors. 

Enjoy an unique gastronomy experience visiting a traditional andalusian tavern and a typical tapas-bar, where you can taste the amazing gaditanian gastronomy: Local charcuterie, sliced pork belly, cheese, marinated tomatoes, crispy shrimp fritters, marinated potatoes, cured salted tuna… 

Walk through the narrow streets of the old town, where you will find a beautiful architecture and an invaluable cultural legacy. We will finish our experience visiting the Cádiz that very few tourists have the chance to see.

I will try all my best to give you a taste of the local Cádiz lifestyle that makes this city stand out from the rest of Spain.

What else you should know
-Total distance covered: 2.7 km
-Experience not adapted for vegans or vegetarians.
-Transportation to Cadiz not included. Trains running every hour from Seville (90 min trip) and Jerez (45 min trip).

What I’ll provide
Local tavern + Tapas bar 
Sliced pork belly, cheese, marinated tomatoes, crispy shrimp fritters, cured salted tuna, marinated potatoes, banderillas...
3 drinks 
I will recommend you the best drinks in each stop: Local vermouth, Sherry wines, special types of Manzanilla...
Central Market 
Olive tasting, including different type of olives...

The following was written by Ernesto, Food Eaten

Hi hi! Here you have a list with all the food you tried during the food experience:

MARKET -Morcilla de arroz: Blood sausage with rice or blood pudding with rice. -Chicharrones: Fried pork belly -Olives: Verdial & Gordal -Marinated carrots with cumin, bay laurel, vinegar, garlic and olive oil.
Cockles and Mussels
The pink in the middle is sea snake, if disturbed will bite in the water.

Sword fish head
Snacks in the market as mentioned above
TABERNA CASA MANTECA -Chicharrones especiales: Roasted pork belly with salt, garlic and fennel. Sliced and with some lemon juice and salt on top. -Mojama: Salt-cured tuna. -Queso payoyo: Goat cheese from Grazalema (Cádiz mountains), with asparagus jam -Marinated tomatoes from Conil with olive oil, oregano, cumin and salt.

Ernesto and Gerd from Sweden, her husband is Urban
EL FARO DE CÁDIZ -Tortillitas de camarones: Shrimp fritters -Papas aliñás: Potato salad made with boiled potatoes, olive oil, parsley and onion. -Habichuelas aliñadas: Marinate edible beans with smoked salmon, onion, parsley and olive oil.
Tortillitas de camarones, I've had these before and didn't care much for them, but these were delicious!
To end the tour we had coffee and treat at his workplace which is a club, event venue and shared working space for young entrepreneurs, gem of a building the general public does not usually have access to. The treat was bread fried in honey, a typical dessert from the region.

Ceiling of the building
Beautiful carving, style of the Alcazar the website of the building.

Some trivia Ernesto told us: 

Cooking, the basics used in most recipes are olive oil, vinegar, garlic, onion, cumin, salt, pepper, oregano.

He told us how to prepare the foods at the market and to shop when the cruise ships are not in, Ernesto printed out a schedule from the port website and takes his grandmother there when ships aren’t in to avoid the crowds. Also he shops about 1:30 before closing at 2 pm to get deep discounts on still fresh fish.

Cadiz being a port city was prepared for war so they mounted many canons which were not used so now they use them on street corners to protect the edges of the buildings from traffic.

Never eat on the main street, always go around a corner for a more authentic and cheaper experience, something I'd known but had forgotten.

There is a license for 15 people per year to take care of the stray cats at a plaza in the city, couple of them we saw wandering around looked nourished and healthy.

Dogs have to be cleaned up after, poop scooped, pee washed with mixture of water and detergent or owners risk 300 Euros fee.

We walked through the Franco inspired buildings neighbourhood which were austere and plain. Then through the neighbourhood with merchants grand houses, high alcoved windows, showing the family had high ceilings, an indicative of the time that they had money.

I did a review of Ernesto's tour and he received top marks, well deserved. He was both professional and fun!

Part 2 coming up, Ernesto did most of the writing of this post, I'll be writing the next.

Salud, or Cheers, Bev and Lexi Cat

Sunday, March 17, 2019

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Happy St. Patrick's Day to you! 

A bit about my Grandfather who I received Irish citizenship from. He worked at the Guinness brewery as a young man and rode a bike to work. His tires would be frequently pierced by the women in the plant with their hat pins because he was quite the rogue. I don’t know what date he moved to Canada or much in-between but he farmed in Brentwood Bay and then moved to a bungalow that my father built for him and my Nan and Pop as we called them. He would watch soap operas in the basement of the home in the afternoons and drink a dram of scotch. It was a very great pleasure to know him in my childhood, to have him in my life, and I wonder what he would have thought of me getting my Irish citizenship. Whit/Bruce and I did visit the relatives in Ireland a few years ago and had a wonderful time with them. One cousin was an almost duplicate of my father right down to mannerisms but he had a wife that talked more than he did, much like my parents. We saw learned more of the history of the family and they were very welcoming to us. 

Just this for now but this last week Lexi and I spent six days in the city of Cadiz. I did a food tour which was great and explored the city. It was a really good change of pace and only an hour and a half by train south of Sevilla. So you know what my next blog entry will be about, maybe two. 

Cheers, Bev and Lexi Cat