Friday, April 17, 2009

Easter in Cadiz

It is good to be home again, but we had an absolutely wonderful time in Spain. I wish we could have seen more, but on the other hand, it was a very restful and relaxing time. We met our daughter, Yvette, her husband, Steve and our two grand- daughters, Grace (10) and Camille (4). They have been living in Norway since January (teaching at American College of Norway) and were ready for someplace warm and sunny with a beach. Cadiz is a magical place - we were in the old town and felt like we had gone back in time to the middle ages with a few modern conveniences, like washer & dryer and indoor plumbing. We rented a 2 bedroom apartment La Casa Cadiz a short walk from the beach. Every day we walked to a new destination: the Museum of Cadiz, the Cathedral, a small church with some early Goyas, the Castle Santa Catalina, the fortress San Sebastian, etc. You can only expect kids to endure so much of the cultural heritage when what they really want to do is go to the beach or the playground ;-) There are pictures of our sightseeing at our sight on Shutterfly. Cadiz, as legend has it, was founded by Hercules and supposedly the Pillars of Hercules are here somewhere. Archeology shows that it was first settled by the Phoenicians, followed by the Carthagenians, the Romans, the Moors, and finally the Christians. It is also the port from which Columbus' second and third voyages departed, however, the locals don't make much noise about that. And, it is where the Constitution of Spain was drawn up and ratified. There are also the University of Cadiz, and the Academy of Art here. Cadiz claims to be the oldest continually inhabited city in Western Europe. Being there Easter Week we were treated to a street procession per night with a different float being carried down the street each night. I could never get close enough to see how they managed to propel these huge, heavy things down the street, but they did it purely with manpower, no horses of any kind employed. I have to admit it is nice to be home to my own bathroom where the paper used can be flushed and not deposited in a can next to the toilet. The apartment we were in is a 17th century building and the plumbing must be nearly that old. ;-) Anyway, the paper does not go down the potty - if you forget you fish it out and put it in the can. A few times of that tends to improve the memory exponentially. Fortunately, the garbage is picked up daily. The streets were more like alleys to us - very narrow, but inhabited by cars, motorbikes, dogs and people. Grace was continually watching out for Grandma's keester. So, now that we are home it is time to get started on that Ox New Year's card - the year is marching on at an amazing pace. I am off to get started on it as we speak!

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