Joe and I woke up late this morning and headed west to Rota Naval Base and Cadiz. The weather was beautiful and the roads were empty which made for a great drive.
The scenery on the way to Rota was gorgeous, bright green plains as far as the eye could see. We drove through a few quaint towns and got to Rota in about 2 hours (it would’ve taken about 1.5 hours if we hadn’t gotten turned around near Puerto de Santa Maria.)
Rota Naval Station is set off the southwest coast of Spain and the town of Rota, just outside the base, is very cute. Much like Villefranche sur Mer (a town we visited on our honeymoon in the south of France), Rota is filled with beachy bars and restaurants and terrace laden apartment buildings.
There was a group of people on the beach who were para-surfing (or whatever it’s called) and it looked like so much fun but quite cold. We wandered along the promenade for a while and took some photos of the quiet town, making plans to come back in the summer when this town is, no doubt, much livelier.
Onto Cadiz, a peninsula town south of Rota, which resembles Miami in many ways. We managed to find a prime parking space in front of this beautiful statue. We had heard that the rowdy Carnaval festivities didn’t start until 10 PM but we saw plenty of people in costume as early as 5 PM.
We sat at an outdoor cafe for a beer and a coffee and watched all the people in crazy costumes walk by.
We weren’t exactly sure where the festivities were being held so we wandered around the beautiful alleys of Cadiz.
We eventually stumbled on quite a few squares bustling with people and vendors selling jewelry, kazoos and last minute costume necessities.
We headed up to the shore for sunset and had some spectacular views of the coast of Cadiz.
We wandered around a bit more and then decided to get some carnival food. I had my heart set on a chocolate relleno churro but had a bit of a problem communicating with the women behind the counter. The first order I was given consisted of a cup of hot cocoa and some churros and when I explained all I wanted was “solo churro” I received just that, only churros. No chocolate, no cinnamon sugar, just a handful of hot fried Spanish donut strips. I was sorely disappointed. Joe and I shared a lomo bocadilla caliente (a pork tenderloin sandwich on a crusty Spanish roll) and some oily but delicious fritas (french fries).
We headed back out of town and back home along the dark and winding country roads. Just a few short wrong turns and we made it home safe in 2 hours. We had a great time and can’t wait for many more fun day trips.