A Quick Stop in Cadiz and Gibraltar
Fri 16 Feb 2012
As we collect our car and set off from Seville, I have a sense of satisfaction. It has been a good holiday so far and Seville has been a dream destination. I had originally planned to spend today and tomorrow following one of the Pueblo Blanco routes which tour the white-washed Moorish villages dotting the countryside. But Bapi wanted to visit Gibraltar, having read about it and seen it in films. So we head off today towards the strange rock, stopping at Cadiz which falls on the way.
Our drive to Cadiz on the freeway is uneventful and rather boring. Arriving in Cadiz, we quickly find a tourist office and pick up a map.
I want to see the Atlantic first so we head towards the ocean. Its a cold day and the wind is biting; soon there are fat droplets of rain. We don’t feel like lingering.
We check the buildings of interest marked in the tourist map but without much information, its rather boring. I had been told that Cadiz is one of the most charming towns in Spain, I don’t find it so. It seems rather lacklustre and dull. Perhaps its just the weather? We have lunch in the Cathedral square, I have a mixed salad and Bapi has fish and beer (Eu 32). Bundling back into the car, we continue on the motorway towards Gibraltar.
The hotels in Gibraltar were quite expensive so I had booked a reasonably priced place in La Línea de la Concepción, the Spanish town which borders Gibraltar. As we drive up to it, the Rock looms up ahead. Its very impressive! We stop to take pictures.
The hotel is made for mass-tourism and is not very appealing. However, it is only a 10 minute walk to the border so it serves its purpose very well. The view from the balcony is quite nice and open.
Just past the border, there is a bus which takes us to the city centre, a 10 minute ride. We enter the town through the Casemates Square (above). We don’t have any tourism agenda, we just want to wander through. I do not why but Gibraltar is not quite what I expected.
We walk down the main street noting the red pillar post boxes, the pubs, the British chain stores and other evidence of Britain. But most of the people who pass us seem to be Spanish. Its a strange place!
We walk on the main street until the Convent, the residence of the Governor of Gibraltar. I know that there would be much more to see but I think after one week on the road, we are both reaching the too-tired-to-see-any-more point. We are in consensus when we decide to find a place to eat dinner and call it a day. We had noted an Indian restaurant on the way as a back-up plan. I look at menus in many restaurants and pubs but vegetarian choices are minimal. So we return to the Indian restaurant (Maharaja) which turns out to be an excellent choice. Its quite the best Indian food we have had in a restaurant for a long time indeed! (£ 23 for two main meals, nans and non-alcoholic drinks) Highly recommended.
We are quite satiated when we head back to our hotel. Today has not been that great – I did not like Cadiz much and I suspect that we did not do justice to Gibraltar. But that’s how it goes on holidays, some days are not as good as others. No drama.