Saturday, August 02, 2014

Beautiful Cádiz

We traveled on Brussels Air from Budapest to Brussels to Seville July 31st. Our three-hour plus waiting in Brussels was smoothed over by access to the Diners Club lounge. We offered Kat guest membership, but she said she would be fine going it alone out with the masses. Guilt did gnaw at me for a short time, but I got over it once I relaxed with a Belgium beer on tap. The flights were uneventful, but the seating was spacious; more so on the first leg than the second, but still comfortable.

Once we landed, the bus to the train station was efficient. I think it cost us 4 Euros each. It was super crowded, so we stood the entire ride, missed our stop and found ourselves at the end of the line without realizing it. As it turned out, we were not alone, so there were more than the three of us taking the ride back. The driver just shook his head, but did not require more money.

Once at Seville, we had to wait forever for train tickets. There was only one person selling them and the line was extensive. The overhead sign said there was a labor strike going on. We caught the train 3 minutes after getting our tickets; perfect timing. Once in Cádiz, we found our home away from home by walking. It took us about 20 minutes, but we were all too cheap to spring for a taxi. Teresa, our exchange partner had a friend, Esperanza, waiting for us. She had her grown daughter with her to explain everything. They were sweet.

Teresa had left me a USB Wi-Fi connection. I could not get the damn thing to work at all. It connected, but would not show the connection window to add the password. We went to the store that Teresa told me about if there were a problem, but Francisco, the person I was to ask for, was not there. The woman I spoke with wanted me to bring the computer in. We were going to do that in the evening, but then I tried using a different USB port and it worked fine. Now, my mouse doesn't work, because it only works in one port. Oh well.

Our first night we went to Quilla restaurant, thanks to Esperanza. We were too late to grocery shop, so this was our splurge. Great food, wonderful views of the ocean. This morning we shopped across the street and cooked breakfast here.

Cádiz is nothing like I expected, not that I did any research ahead of time. I leave that to Ron. What I was expecting was fabulous beaches with clean sand, gloriously blue water, and tons of people having fun, but not much more. Well, let me tell you, it is all that and more. There is SO much more, it is rather shocking. There are four historic walking tours marked on the sidewalk color-coded. Each stop on each tour has a well-illustrated sign in Spanish and English. We have yet to do a full walking tour, because we have been busy exploring on our own. We keep saying we will get to it, but we are really staying busy.

No, we have not been spending hours at the beach, though it is tempting. They are free and glorious, but in reality we only went down from 6 to 8pm one evening; we have yet to return. There is so much to do and see. Due to living in an apartment through our home exchange, we have been shopping and cooking dinner each night. An extensive grocery store across the street makes is ultra-convenient. The food prices are incredibly low. We bought a kilo (2.2 lbs.) of delicious tomatoes for 89 Euro cents.

At lunchtime, we are generally too far from home to run back to fix a meal, so we snack out. Ron and I have kept well below our budget of 100 Euros a day for the two of us for all expenses. The apartment we exchanged with is in a perfect location. The beach is just three blocks in one direction and everything else we could need is only a few blocks or more in the other direction.

My only complaint is there is no Internet access in the apartment. I have yet to see an Internet café in the city. With the USB Internet connector the service is limited and it will only work in one of my two USB ports. With the limitations of Internet, I most likely will not write much while we are away. Ignore the mistakes if any, I will not have time to make corrections or even to blush over them.

Love the city!!! We are ready to buy property here. : ) 

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