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Independence of the Seas – Day 11 – Cadiz

Cadiz was probably one of the best days we had out on the cruise, along with Cartagena and Vigo (happenstance they’re all Spanish cities). True, Lisbon, Gibraltar, Rome and Pisa/Florence would have been there too if it wasn’t for some problems that occurred there. Don’t even get me started on Toulon. Just…no.

Yokohama buoys

Another early start; another bleary wake-up call that was once a rather blissful sound to hear in the morning but slowly developed into some kind of horror music that won’t stop. No worries though, as soon as we got off the ship the beautiful rippling waves and the splashes woke me up soon enough. And there were fish too; trapped inside the large Yokohama buoys, they took to giving the hull of the ship a nice clean up, eating away the algae. They were quite cute.

Ghost cities?

At first Cadiz didn’t look like much; it seems that all Spanish cities tend to look that way when you first enter them, especially from the port. Gibraltar (UK side, but still) seemed just like a remote little island with some monkeys that stole your cameras and bit you if you got too close, Cartagena wasn’t really anything at all to look at and Cadiz-well, I don’t even have the slightest notion of what the port looks like; the memory fades every time I try to put a name to it. I do know there was a bus, and we got on it and travelled round the town.

Cadiz

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The courtyard surrounding the cathedral

Once we really got into the town though, it started picking up. A beautiful seaside (with sand beaches!), cathedrals, roads and roads of local shops and restaurants (I’m looking at you, Mum). We first got off next to the beach and went into the great looming cathedral, which was dark pitched and echoed your footsteps. Large ceramic solemn figures stood in each little barred room, pious and chipped from centuries of age standing there in the dusty room. They even had a crypt; I was flicking through my camera photos from down there when I came across a particularly disturbing one, which showed two blurry pictures of what seemed like women; it was the second of two pictures, and the first had no shady figurines in it. Down there, God indeed alone knew what was going on. I wouldn’t call myself superstitious but these indeed spooked me. That place was hardly somewhere you could call cosy.

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One of the stone statues inside the cathedral

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This was the first picture out of two that I took of my mum inside the crypt. I was going to delete it, because it’s not exactly top notch quality, but after spotting what was in the second picture I decided to keep and instead show it to you guys.

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There are what seem to be two girls walking behind in this picture. I took the two above pictures almost consecutively, so where did the two girls appear from? And what’s the luminous blue thing the girl on the right is holding?

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A marble statue of a woman and her baby holding a golden rod, watching over the grave of one of the priests here.

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Look, it’s Lews!

Ice spikes going along my back, I escaped out of the cathedral and instead we took a cheerful tourist-like walk along the streets. We stopped by at one of the tapas restaurants for lunch, supping on stuffed chillies, anchovies in olive sauce, battered fish and beef meatballs served with a handful of chips (inspired by foreigners?). Then the group split up: my mum and brother Lews going to do some more shopping, whereas me, my dad and my friends’ family came with us down to the beach, which turned out to be hotter than I expected.

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The beef meatballs with chips-at the bottom are some breadstick snacks that came free as an accompaniment; the glass in the background is ice peach tea. Of course. On the left are the remains of the small anchovies.

Hot Hot Hot

Ok, I’ll agree it was the height of summer-and Spain is generally quite hot, especially the Southern regions. But really, walking barefoot on that sand was a deathwish. I ended up throwing down my Hotwind hat and stepping on it because it was colder. My feet were quite literally been burned by the scorching rays of the sun. When we eventually did manage to hop down to the waters edge a whole parade of kids had joined us (who obviously didn’t find the hot sand a problem, but then-England.). Not wanting to wait any longer, we waded in, only to find bliss, cool water. It was quite fun after that, actually.

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Before the parade

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After

When we came back up thirty minutes later, I spotted a green lizard (I will update this later after finding out what type) clambering up the wall. Seagulls (oh praise thee thy seagull), the proper seaside ones that look like they evolved from dodos, (could well have, judging by the size) were squawking and flapping their wings all over the place. Pigeons, the beautiful grey ones with the white line on their beaks that you only get in rural areas, were cooped up on the cathedrals little ledges and alcoves, the chicks all squeaking. I was in animal heaven. There was even an aquarium, but it was too far away down the island from the port and we didn’t have that much time.

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How is that egg not falling straight off the wall?! My little unnamed green lizard. If you know what species it is, please feel free to make your suggestions in the comments below.

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Pigeons

Meeting up at our ‘rendezvous point’ which was the large marble fountain and water sprouting walkway, passing by a duo; one, a lady in a slashed scarlet and black dress and black heels with curled chestnut hair pinned up with a red and black flower doing the flamenco; the second a man wearing a Cordoba’s hat and smart black and white playing the guitar with smart black boots; I discovered the horrifying realisation that my Mum had been buying me clothes again, this time a white flowery trouser that was just a little too big. It wasn’t bad though, and after this confrontation we walked back to the ship-after buying a bull baiting magnet at the terminal, of course.

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The beautiful sparkling fountains

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One of the little covered walkways surrounding the rendezvous point; this flowery arch in the mini park was a lovely sight. They smelled nice too, once you went underneath.

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The ‘rendezvous point’-in the very heart of Cadiz, yet overlooking the port

News and Announcements

I went to watch The Imitation Game last Saturday, and absolutely loved it. I’m (hopefully) going to be writing about that whilst it’s still fresh in my mind before I lose this grace period of adoring and fondling it. And no, it’s got nothing to do with the fact that BBC Sherlock’s Benedict Cumberbatch is playing the lead role of mathematician Alan Turing. I’m also hoping to be watching Fury (a WWII film about the final push towards the Eastern Front and Germany), Dracula Untold (giving an insight into the beginnings of Dracula and more importantly, the how and why) and The Theory of Everything, when it comes out (Stephen Hawking battling his motor neurone disease, ALS-about this, join the Ice Bucket Challenge to support people with ALS!). Of course, for some/most of these are age restricted above my current age, we’ll just have to use other…means…to watch them.

Have you seen the new updated version of Do They Know It’s Christmas? , sung by your favourite singers like Ellie Goulding, One Direction (:/ I’ll let you off), Olly Murs, Ed Sheeran, Sam Smith and Rita Ora in a massive collaboration organised by Bob Geldof. If you haven’t, you really should-it’s all about raising awareness and donations against Ebola in West Africa, which has now killed over 5,000 people and growing every day.  Now I don’t know about you, but most likely you’re excited about Christmas, unwrapping expensive presents and decorating the tree; over in Liberia the best present for them right now would be just to survive this horrible disease. So please, do think about people who are worse off than you and living in general fear of their lives because of this deadly disease-I’m not saying get depressed or freaked out and hide beneath the bed all day and not celebrate Christmas at all-I’m just saying just spend a minute or two to think about what it would be like to be in their shoes.

~Written by Moonlight Walnut (aka Elayne Snowhawk)

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