Cadiz Diary


I’m back in London, which feels hotter than Cadiz thanks to high humidity. The big surprise was finding Africa’s closest neighbour pleasantly warm by day and cold at night. The streets are striated by cross-breezes that also allow for spectacular light effects, especially when it starts to get dark at 10pm. My US friends struggled with the eating-at-11pm thing, but you undergo a diurnal slip there, so that your day doesn’t start until 10am, lunch is at 3pm and everything just rolls back. London, by comparison, is currently dark at 10pm (for one month only) and light at 4:00am, which I find a nightmare of overheated sleeplessness. So, a few shots before I move on.

New Spanish cuisine is simply amazing, with the emphasis on fresh, clean tastes – the dense bean stews beloved of certain regions is being complemented by clever rethinking in a way that French food is not. Here’s the simplest dish I had, roasted pumpkin with olive oil and home-made ricotta.

Cadiz boasts parks featuring dozens of rare South American trees. Its climate is suited for year-round flowers, tough tropical plants, many parasitical, and ancient trees. It likes topiary, too.

Because it is effectively an island, one half modern, one half ancient, its sea walls have become places of pilgrimage at sunset (and perhaps sunrise, I wouldn’t know!)  A cruise ship apparently comes in most days but I saw little evidence of tourism beyond the odd postcard shop.

Oddly, the only place where I recall seeing vegetation this lush was driving in Switzerland in the spring. The town squares are almost overpowered by high, dense foliage. I have never understood why England, a nation of gardeners, so often feels over-pruned and manicured when ripeness is all.

Enough lotus-eating; back to work for me, and although London is basking in bright, high summer it’s the tyranny of the page for me.



5 comments on “Cadiz Diary”

  1. David Ronaldson says:

    Interesting comment about the temperature: I once heard Morocco described as “a cold country with a hot sun”. Sounds as though the same applies to Cadiz.

  2. Helen Martin says:

    It’s worth going just for that seaside promenade with the incredible lamps. That pumpkin sounds great, too. (Finally bludgeoned my supplier into taking my order for the fall book. Looking forward to it.)

  3. John Howard says:

    Did you manage a trip to Jerez or was Cadiz quite enough for this trip. PS: It’s a shame you are back to the grindstone but my selfish side is quite happy that it will have another book to read soon.

  4. Jo W says:

    Liking the look of that roast pumpkin dish. Mmmm

  5. admin says:

    I’ve been to Jerez for the feria quite a few times so I didn’t feel the need to go this time, John.

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