More Cádiz photos
This fish stall is in the Mercado Central of Cádiz, which is only a few blocks from the Cathedral. The classical-style Central Market opened in 1837 and is the oldest covered market in Spain. (It was disguised as a Cuban tobacco factory for a 2002 James Bond Movie, Die Another Day.)
If you prefer flowers to fish, meat, or produce, visit the flower market in the Plaza de las Flores next door. (The neighborhood has many other shops and vendors where you can buy food, clothing, and other goods.)
The Mercado Central is open Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., with longer hours for the "Gastronomic Corner." See the tourist office's Central Market Web page for details.
Cádiz is built on an isthmus, and the old town is surrounded on three sides by water. (Think of it as the tip of a thumb protruding from the Spanish mainland.) The northern side faces the, a.k.a. the , while the western and southern sides face the Atlantic Ocean.
The photo above shows the, a seafront road and promenade on the Atlantic side of the historic center. You can see the towers and yellow-tiled dome of the behind the buildings along the seawall.
As you walk along the seawall, you may see anglers...
...or perhaps a family of cats who are catching rays on the Coast of Light (Costa de la Luz), as the Atlantic coastline of Andalucia is now known.
Cádiz has several fortifications along the seafront promenade--among them, the , which is just north of the Caleta beach.
The castle offers views of the sea and the neighboring beach. Wander around the interior, and you'll find an entrance to the gallery space. (During this visit, the castle was hosting a free exhibition of local paintings.)
Next to the castle, the Playa de la Caleta, or Caleta Beach, is a popular spot with locals. It has a boat basin, wide sand beaches, and a terrace where you can enjoy a drink or a meal.
We were impressed by the artistic instincts of the city workers who placed a row of bright plastic trash containers between the bathers and the seawall.
An architectural highlight of the beach is the Balneario de la Palma (Palm Bathhouse), which was built in the mid-1920s as a spa to replace an earlier public bath. Over the years, the building's interior showed signs of wear and tear, and the spa closed in 1990.
The former spa--now an oceanographic research center--is sometimes called the Balneario de la Caleta, after the name of the beach).
The building played the role of James Bond's hotel in Die Another Day, with Pierce Brosnan and Halle Berry. In the movie, the hotel was located in Havana, Cuba, half a world away from Cádiz.
A long, rocky spit leads out from the , just south of the Balneario de la Palma.
The spit ends at the Castillo de San Sebastián, which was built in 1706 as a military fortress.
In the James Bond movie Die Another Day, the Castle of St. Sebastian served another function: It played the part of a clinic in Havana, Cuba where one of the villains went to have his DNA modified. (What good is a false identity without a matching genetic profile?)
Back on shore, you'll see many vintage streetlamps and palm trees along the road and pedestrian promenade that encircle the historic center of Cádiz.
You can also look toward the modern section of Cádiz in the distance, where hotels, high-rise apartments, and long sandy beaches attract Spanish tourists and an increasing number of visitors from France, Germany, and other European countries.
As you walk north of the Castillo de Santa Caterina, you'll encounter city parks built along the water.
The and a smaller park to the northeast (next to the ) are beautifully landscaped and well-maintained, with attractions for adults and children plus views of the sea.
The Parque Genovés has grottoes facing a pond. You can explore the caves, then take time to watch the ducks in their duck houses:
If you have small children in tow, they'll probably want to ride on the park's minitrain.
Finally, when your feet need a rest, you can enjoy a drink, a snack, or a light meal in a park café.
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