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Azura 2015 – Cadiz


Cadiz city from Tavira Tower

Yesterday we were in Cadiz, our first visit there. It was after 9 o’clock before we berthed so we had a good view of the city as we sailed in. I hadn’t grasped Cadiz’s location before – concentrated on the tip of a peninsula and almost completely surrounded by the sea. On the way I’d been impressed by a big cable-stay bridge that I could see in the background. Apparently it is being opened today! (24 September). Our excursion guide suggested that it will make a big difference to the local economy, which badly needs it – he suggested that unemployment in Andalucia is 40%. The bridge itself is several years late and several times over-budget, apparently.

We had an excursion booked – “Vejer and Cape Trafalgar” but actually, as other people have said, there’s plenty to see in Cadiz itself, and it’s very easy to get ashore and into the city. If we come here again we might just do that;or there again, there’s always Seville; but yesterday we did the excursion. It lasted about four hours, and wasn’t bad. There was quite a long coach ride across what wasn’t, to be truthful, especially interesting countryside, at least not until we’d reached the environs of Vejer. This is an Andalusian hill-top white village, and was very attractive. The excursion featured a walk around the village with some free time at the end. We might have preferred more free time to explore it on our own and perhaps less organised walk, but never mind. Then it was back into the coach for the drive along quite narrow roads to Cape Trafalgar. In and of itself there’s really nothing there, it’s just a historic location. But apparently the battle was fought just a few hundred metres off-shore, and not miles away. I already knew that the battle lasted for a number of hours (our guide said six hours), and that it was fought at slow-speed – most ships were doing two or three knots in the light winds that day, and it was several hours after the first ships in the line began their engagements before the final ships reached the battle. Difficult to think of so much death and injury occurring in the middle of such a plain, nondescript location. Then it was back to the city.

In the afternoon we went ashore on our own and walked around part of the city. We were aiming for Tavira Tower, a historic watchtower and now home to a camera obscura, and we found it successfully. Before the camera obscure presentation (which we’re pretty familiar with, having visited the ones in Bristol and Edinburgh) we went up to the terrace at the top of the tower and got some got shots of the city from there.

Arcadia was also in port yesterday, and the two ships left together. At lunch I overheard someone in the dining room say that when they’d been returning to the ship someone in front of them had got as far as the cruise card check at the bottom of Azura’s gangway before it was spotted they were a passenger on Arcadia, not Azura, and they would were therefore trying to board the wrong ship! Arcadia was berthed on the opposite side of the harbour, so they had a long walk round.

We ate in the Glasshouse again last night. Val had three small dishes from the ‘small plates’ menu, and I had the sliders – mini gourmet burgers in three flavours; beef and oak-smoked cheddar, lamb with mint jelly, and pulled pork with sage and apple relish. Then we shared the cheese board for dessert, and enjoyed it very much  – there were a couple of cheeses on it that we didn’t recognise and which were very tasty.

Today – I’m writing this approaching 1pm – we’re at sea, for the first of two days in succession. It’s been grey and cool all morning, but it is in fact brightening up a bit now. However it’s also windy. We’re back in the Atlantic, of course – the Med is far behind us. Next stop Southampton…..

2 Responses to “Azura 2015 – Cadiz”

  1. Fantastic pictures of Cadiz Tom, brought back a load of great memories. Happy sailing.

  2. Linda says:

    We enjoyed Cadix too … Much more than we expected to. May have missed it in your report but have you tried the Beach House. We preferred it when the restaurant had an Italian theme but still enjoy the great sea view and the menu still has the fillet cooked on a lava rock when we were last on board. Superb.
    There was often a wait with a pager being issued but not a problem with the bar a couple of decks above.
    Finally what was your lasting impression of this Azura cruise. We tried to be very objective and rate each area .. Cabin .. Restaurants … Excursions … Staff .. Bars /lounges … Etc and in the end Celebrity scored better in almost every area. I notice you have done Celebrity Solstice which I think is similar to Equinox and Eclipse which we have sailed on this year with Azura in the middle. The only areas Azura rated better for us were the promenade deck … Virtually non existent on Celebrity and the outside screen … drink prices and of course their great Sindhu. There really is no comparison for that restaurant. However for us just not enough to ever get us back on board any time soon. Perhaps we sailed just after a lot of good crew had jumped ship to Britannia so lost out on the level of service we received from waiters and bar staff.

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