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15th October, 2012



Our stay in Cadiz turned out to be a little longer than expected, a relatively small electronic spare part was required to be sent down from Norway, but what a great place to enjoy an extra day. We had arrived by lunchtime on Monday to the city I had first visited as a school boy on an ex troop ship in 1965, and just five years later when I was a cadet on my first cargo ship. Even then I thought the atmosphere, particularly after siesta when the sun had disappeared, was fascinating.

I was somewhat cajoled to join the tour to the bodegas of Gutierrez Colosia, where passengers were invited to taste the famous sherry from the Jerez region. Not my tipple fortunately, but what was particularly exciting was the superb performance of flamenco, given with true passion and vigour. So much so that the ‘glow’ was flying off the ladies as they span round with hands and arms flying everywhere. I thought there was a serious likely hood that the male dancer’s green silk trousers were going to split and that the wooden stage was going to collapse with the constant crashing of steel capped tap shoes.

A little more sedately, my wife and I managed a few hours ashore at lunchtime on Tuesday, wandering the tall narrow streets where the balconied buildings stood so close together they were in the cool shadow for most of the day. Some opened up to small squares, many with a church or some grand official building on one side, and to shopping streets, still busy before the siesta.


The old colourful market still exists, but with a modern cleaner central section where the vendors still impart their charm in the delightful Spanish manner. We sat for a while outside the impressive cathedral, listening to a chap with a long pig tail playing his guitar while smoking the thinnest of ‘rollies', his dextrous fingers running over the chords to play great jazzy music which was more Argentine than Spanish. In fact I recognised the ‘Libertango’ so I made a little conversation, he was indeed from Argentina - a long way to come for a little busking.

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