There’s a sense of liberation in just being in the city of Cádiz.
Walking down the streets of this beach city in Andalucía, South of Spain, one can’t help but feel relaxed and carefree. The air here, for some reason, smells fresher, the sky bluer, and even the harsh Spanish July sun, in its 40+ degree intensity, is more bearable when coupled with the cool summer breeze.
Cádiz Beach Shoreline
It is as if everyone in this little city have no cares in the world and spend their lives simply laying by the beach everyday, reading a book or people-watching, while snacking on the best Pescaíto Frito (assorted deep fried fish) in the whole of Spain.
Absolute yum Pescaíto Frito. All 1kilograms worth. Visit Las Flores Freideria in Plaza Topete/Plaza de los Flores for some of these deep fried goodness
The Catedral de Santa Cruz de Cádiz from La Playa de Santa María del Mar Beach. And my, some young-ish people who aren’t kids! A rarity.
Men walk around in just their boardshorts and towels draped around their bare shoulders, burnt red from the blazing sun. Skimpy bikinis are a mainstay of the women’s beach look – perfect to show off their sun-kissed bodies. And no matter how scantily one is dressed while on the streets, no one bats an eyelid.
Soaking in views of the azure blue seas stretching beyond the horizon and the brownish sandy beaches (I won’t go so far as to say white sandy beaches as I honestly have seen better beaches) creates a perfect form of therapy for the stressed.
Locals chilling by the beach
La Playa de Santa María del Mar Beach
It is no wonder, then, that one of the beaches that lined the shoreline of this small city, the La Playa de la Caleta, was once picked as the location to film the 2002 James Bond movie, “Die Another Day”.
La Playa de la Caleta Beach
Truth be told, however, as much as Cádiz was a great place to unwind, I thought that its beaches were far too crowded for my liking. There were more umbrellas and people than pockets of empty space. It was especially full of old people and their saggy breasts and folds of skin, and half-naked children screaming and running away from the waves (it seems to be a national beach pastime to walk around topless). In fact, I dare say I was one of the few people who were of my age bracket.
Umbrellas galore at La Playa de Santa María del Mar Beach
As extremely shallow as this may sound, but there were practically no “hot” people to be found on these beaches. Dear reader, you have to admit that half the fun of going to any beach is people-watching, especially young “hot” people. So, where are all the “hot” people?
But I digress.
It was, however, still great fun watching people of all ages just having fun at the beach. I have to admit that it must take great courage for anyone of an old age to be so comfortable in their own skin to strut around in their bathing suits.
Despite its immense crowds, the beaches of Cádiz was still a welcomed escape from the big city of Seville I had just come from. Moving around from city to city, mainly in Andalucía, I found myself more drawn to the smaller cities and towns, rather than the large ones. And it being summer in Spain, what’s not to love about a beach?
By no-means an endorsement of Coca-Cola. I’m not usually a fan of the drink, but I found myself drinking this a lot by the beach
If lazing by the beach, with my iPod on repeat, was not therapeutic enough, the walk along La Playa de la Victoria and La Playa de Santa María del Mar beaches in the late evening provided this extra relaxation. I absolutely love walking. And being able to catch a glimpse of the brilliant sun set upon the beach, illuminating it, while walking, was an added bonus.
And with this, I sign off with one of my favourite shots of Cádiz (and hey, the beach was finally empty at 10pm!):