Drive along the sea
Far from the city's twitch and smoke
Cadiz has a population of about 150,000 but the energy of a place ten times that size. As soon as I stepped out of the RENFE station the smell of the sea mingled with frying and the odd cigarette hit me. Like many Spanish cities there is new town and and old one (casco antiguo) and although I spent much of my time in the old town the new town is worth a visit for the plethora of bars, shopping opportunities and a massive beach lined with chiringuitos from which you can just make out the northern coast of Africa - on a good day of course.
I had arrived towards the end of the week so everyone was in a lively mood, even during the siesta time (four to eight) the narrow streets were thronged with families and a lot of the bars were open.
To be honest like say La Coruna there´s not a great deal to see in terms of monuments etc. but it´s a great place to simply wander and eat and chill out. To get the lay of the land I did a little circumnavigation of the ducking inwards now and then to pick up a tapas or two and get a bit of a breeze, the interior being quite hot.
Amongst the best places I tried were Merodio which is a little hole in the wall by the mercado which serves up terrific seafood dishes like Totillitas de camarones. A lot of stuff you don´t see that often like ortigullas (sea anemones), otiones (scallops) and several types of shark. It´s noisy, t´s intimidating and it looks a bit grubby but it´s great fun and the real deal. Casa Manteca in the Barrio la Vina (the most amospheric area) is a shrine to Flamenco and Bullfighters where the beer is served in big pours and the food takes the form of sliced cured meats served on waxed paper. The chicharrones (pressed pork) served with a squeeze of lemon are very popular here. El Faro is like Cadiz´s version of JSheeky where there is great service at the bar and not over-expensive tapas which are cooked really well.
Surprisingly some of the best dishes I had were meat based. At Cumbres Mayores I had some of the best chuletillas de cordero I´d ever had. At a small bar on Calle Sacramento the fried chicken tapas was amazing. In fact the only place I was a bit disappointed with was the renowned Freiduria la Flores but ths is only relative and for a few euros you can stuff your face on all manner of fresh fried fish.
Oh and to finish off, out of the many heladerias I would definitely recommend a tarrina of helado from either the Salon Italiano or a place on Plaza Mina.
After that little lot a session down the gym would definitely be in order.