A Day in the Oldest City in Spain

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A sunny Sunday and a drive to Cadiz.  We find a lucky parking spot (free!) on the outskirts of the old city walls and begin our tour by walking along some of the most beautiful beaches you could never imagine in a city.

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Cádiz, the oldest continuously inhabited city in Spain and one of the oldest in western Europe, has been a principal home port of the Spanish Navy since the accession of the Spanish Bourbons in the 18th century.

Despite its unique site—on a narrow slice of land surrounded by the sea‚ Cádiz is, in most respects, a typically Andalusian city with a wealth of attractive vistas and well-preserved historical landmarks. The older part of Cádiz within the remnants of the city walls is commonly referred to as the Old Town (Spanish: Casco Antiguo). It is characterized by the antiquity of its various quarters (barrios). In addition, the city is dotted with numerous parks where exotic plants flourish, including giant trees supposedly brought to Spain by Columbus from the New World.

We carry on along the outside of the old city on a paved walkway above the sea with wonderful views. We come to one of bastions and decide to check it out. Inside, the old buildings are intact and in one of them is a temporary display of “The Malaspina Project”. This caught our attention, since we have done a lot of sailing in the Malaspina Strait so went inside to investigate…

The Malaspina circumnavigation expedition is an interdisciplinary research project whose overall goals were to assess the impact of global change on the oceans and explore their biodiversity. The 250 scientists on board the Hespérides and Sarmiento de Gamboa embarked on an eight-month expedition (taking place between December 2010 and July 2011) combining pioneering scientific research with training for young researchers, while advancing marine science and fostering the public understanding of science.

The project is under the umbrella of the Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation’s Consolider – Ingenio 2010 programme and is led by the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC) with the support of the Spanish Navy. It is named after the original scientific Malaspina Expedition between 1789 and 1794, that was commanded by Alejandro Malaspina. Due to Malaspina’s involvement in a conspiracy to overthrow the Spanish government, he was jailed upon his return and a large part of the expedition’s reports and collections were put away unpublished, not to see the light again until late in the 20th century. (Wikipedia)

The tiny sea creature was painted by one of the scientists who is also an artist …

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These trees were supposedly brought back from the New World by Columbus….

And here is a pic of an old photo showing how they fish for tuna here, the method being introduced by the Phonecians about 2,000 years ago and is still used today…

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