Thursday, May 26, 2011

Te amo Cadiz!

After the Sevillan get-away, we were really excited to hit la playa in Cadiz. Overall, Cadiz was incredible. I would definitely suggest it to someone else and would definitely love to go back on another trip. The city is so clean, and full of live.  We were lucky with the hostel we stayed in, and even managed to make a few friends (and scare a few people too…). Luckily for us, we had a 6 person room to ourselves both nights. It was SO nice to be able to spread our stuff out all over the room, leave the lights on when we felt like it and not be worried about other people hearing our morning alarms. We also made some friends with the staff: Manu and Dmitry. We might have scared Dmitry a little more than we made friends with him, but in the end, we think he liked us. 

On Tuesday, within an hour of checking into to the hotel, we hit the beach. Manu gave us directions to one of the local beaches, and we enjoyed the afternoon laying out and turning into lobsters- I’m pretty sure we are both getting skin cancer after that trip! It was SO incredible though just to lay out, nap and enjoy the beach. The water was crystal clear, and the beach we were on was right next to the old part of the city, so we had a great view of the old cathedral and some of the neat areas of town. It also wasn’t a touristy beach, and Kal and I were the only Americans (that we knew of/heard) there. It was quite entertaining because the social standards in Spain are extremelyyyy different than they are in America. In Spain, being topless on the beach is no big deal, seriously. Girls would be talking with their friends, mom, husband, kids, neighbor all without their top on. And it phased like no one. So strange. So, we got quite the show, haha.

After the beach, we came back, showered and asked Dmitry (our bff), for some advice on where to get some good tapas in the city. He suggested this place called “La gorda te da de Comer”, and figuring that he probably had some good advice, we followed his astute directional abilities and ended up getting some tapas. I’m not sure if Dmitry had ever actually been to La Gorda, but if he had, I’m pretty sure he’d not recommend it to anyone. It was very Americanized, and the patatas bravas were kind of like hashbrowns… but, the Spinach and chick-pea soup/paste was actually quite delicious.

On Wednesday, we took the free walking tour through our hostel. We met a really cool guy from Germany, Phillip, who we may have scared a little. He was a little nervous about his English, so we tried speaking slower and not using as much slang, but we could tell he got nervous every time we talked. I guess we are intimidating? The verdict is still out on that one…

In the walking tour, we saw some really cool old parts of the city and learned a ton. Cadiz is one of the oldest cities in Spain and has a crazy history. At one point, the town was so poor that they began to charge a tax on putting windows in your house. They did this because it gets so hot in the summer time, that the citizens couldn’t live without windows and had no choice but to pay the tax. It’s funny though, because you can still see some buildings with places where windows should be. The streets of Cadiz are also incredible clean and well maintained. The city takes pride in their city and makes sure that it is always looking nice. 

Once the walking tour was over, we grabbed a bit to eat with our guide, Stefi, and some Americans who were on the tour with us. The restaurant was called El Dorado, and specialized in South American food (awesome). So- we definitely got Mexican, and it was delicious!! We shared a plate called “La Tejana” (fitting, right?) and it was incredible. It was this giant taco with meat and cheese and guac and deliciousness. If you are ever in Cadiz- you HAVE to go to this place. 

After lunch, we found our way back to la playa and spent the rest of the afternoon lounging around. We swam, collected sea stones and climbed around on all of the giant rocks. It was the perfect way to spend the rest of the day. Oh- we also made a friend at the beach (apparently we are friendly people?) who looked just like John Locke. Viejo verde is what he was. The beach left us exhausted, so we headed back to the hostel and spent a few hours just relaxing. I got to skype with Miranda and Amy J and realized how much I miss Austin and everyone in it!
Embarrassingly enough, that night we ended up at the only American restaurant in town. We were craving something without bread and grease, and really just wanted a salad, so we went to the main plaza in town and ate at “Hollywood”. Ridiculous, yes, I know. But- we had salad and it was delicious!  
Thursday morning came early, and I did my morning work out on the beach. First of all- running on sand is awesome, and secondly, being barefoot is even better. I have never ran or exercised without shoes, and I am now thoroughly convinced of it! I’m not sure if it was a combination of the sand and water or what, but it was great! 

After cleaning up, and eating breakfast with our German friend Phillip, we packed up, checked out (with Dmitry, who was trying to play “cute” with us- hilarious), and got on a bus to Arcos and have had an incredible day here so far!

Cadiz and our time so far in Arcos have been wonderful. Arcos is turning out to be the most spontaneous we’ve been so far- and it’s going to be awesome. Tomorrow is going to be hilarious. Pictures to come.

Until then, miss you all and if you are in Austin- go the Saints of Valory show at the Parrish tomorrow night! The cover is $7, but it’s an open bar!! 

Chaco's at the beach!

A view of the Cathedral, old town and beach! Gorgeous, right?

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