It has been over two months since we arrived in Spain at the beginning of November. Neither did we notice and we have to leave her. There is nothing wrong with it because we will spend the next month still on the Iberian Peninsula, at the nearest neighbor of Spain – Portugal.
So how did this last week in Spain pass? We were in southwestern Andalusia, on the Atlantic Ocean. We started from the small town of El Puerto de Santa Maria, then go to Jerez de la Frontera and Cadiz, one of the major cities on this part of the coast.
We stopped at El Puerto de Santa Maria on the picturesque Atlantic coast.
We started our tour from the nearest town. Unfortunately, Tuesday’s bad weather did not allow us too much. We focused on the historic center of the city with its main church – Mayor Prioral. Walking along Munoz Seca Street, we see the facade of the aforementioned temple in the background.
We are already at Plaza de Espana. The rain that has been raining for a long time has chased away all passers-by. Only here and there, there were single guests in the covered taverns. We look at the main temple in El Puerto de Santa Maria.
Fortunately, next day the dense clouds gave way to the sun and we could continue our journey in good weather. We went to Jerez de la Frontera, a city of 200,000 citizen located a dozen or so kilometers north of the Atlantic coast.
Entering the city from the south at the beginning we have to pass the massive walls of the historical Alcazar de Jerez, a castle that guarded access to the city.
Going further north, towards the center we reach Plaza del Arenal, the main market square of the city. It was just cleaning up after the recent market.
In one of the side streets we met a cleaning crew, who shook off the ripe oranges from the trees and then threw them into the trash. We happened to try these „urban” oranges and although they were soft, juicy and looked ripe, they were always very acidic in taste.
In the area of the Alcazar de Jerez there are also two of the most beautiful churches in Jerez de la Frontera. The first of them, Iglesia de San Miguel, is distinguished by a ceramic-lined tower.
Going in the direction of the second one, we pass the Plaza del Arenal on the way, after which you can ride a horse-drawn carriage. Jerez de la Frontera is famous for numerous and well-known stud farms and the production of sherry, a strong wine in ancient times very popular in England. That’s why its English name simply means Jerez, the city it comes from.
We reach the cathedral, the most magnificent temple in Jerez. The barrel of the aforementioned drink could not be missing, in this case in the form of a monument. In the whole city there are plenty of places where you can enjoy a local sherry in the company of Spanish snacks – tapas.
From Jerez de la Frontera we went to Cadiz, the largest ocean port in Spain. The history of the city dates back to ancient times due to the interest in these areas of the then naval powers, Phoenicians, Greeks and Romans, as well as a very convenient location above the deeply sloping bay.
Today, it is difficult to find any traces here dating back to the times of the seventeenth century. In 1596, the English fleet completely destroyed the city. They were rebuilt in the Renaissance and Baroque style and were surrounded by a ring of very solid city walls, which to this day constitute a permanent trace of the then power of Spain.
Cádiz is located on a small, tightly built peninsula connecting it with the mainland. You can reach the city center, among others through Avenida Fernandez Ladreda, stretching along the Santa Maria Del Mar beach.
We are approaching the center more and more. In the distance you can see the towers of Catedral Nueva from the turn of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.
In order to reach the historical city, one of several city gates must be passed through. This below leads through Avenida Andalucia. As you can see, the former city moat has been designated for sports fields and perfectly fulfills its role.
We are approaching the cathedral. We’re going to the seaside Calle Conception Arenal.
From the Plaza de la Catedral, we look at the facade of the temple. The square is quite large, but it is impossible to find a place from which you can photograph the church in its entirety.
Looking to the right we can see another of the sacred monuments of Cadiz – Iglesia de Santiago Apostol.
We enter the narrow streets of the old city. Visible below Calle Compania leads from the cathedral square to the commercial heart of Cadiz, a tangle of narrow streets filled with shops and restaurants.
We are already leaving at the very end of the peninsula. Before us is La Caleta, a small island connected to the mainland by a permanent passage, where the defensive Castillo de San Sebastian is located. This is one of the dozen or so elements of the Cadiz fortifications.
From the rocky headland we look at the panorama of modern Cádiz.
On the way back, on the northern part of the waterfront, we pass the Parque Genoves and the church del San Carmen y Santa Teresa located on the Paseo Alameda Marques de Comillas.
We can see huge trees in the park across the street. Well-kept greenery and small architecture encourage walkers to rest.
Walking along the city walls we can see with our own eyes the old artillery, which guarded the access to the peninsula.
We reach the area of Plaza Espana, where there is a huge Monument to the Constitution of 1812. It was the first liberal constitution of Europe which was valid only for 11 years. In 1823 was annulled by the King of Spain Ferdinand VII.
One of the most beautiful views of Cádiz is the one that stretches from Avenida del Puerto towards the Plaza de San Juan de Dios and the buildings at its end. You can see, among others church tower dedicated to the patron of the square, or San Juan de Dios.
On the way back we also passed one of the two bridges connecting Cádiz with the mainland on the other side of the bay.
We are already at Avenida de la Bahia and we are throwing our last glance towards the city. In a moment, we will get into the car and pass the bridge we have just seen to return to El Puerto de Santa Maria.
That’s how we spent the last week in Spain. We have several hundred kilometers ahead of us on our way to Portugal, where we plan to be on Monday. We will start with the Algarve, the most popular region of Portugal where we will spend the next few days.