On sunday mornings you can find an interesting fleamarket around the Central market in the old part of the town.
Is not really a big one, and the things you'll find there are not outstanding, but, is a nice way to pass a sunday morning...
In Cadiz you can still find those old barber shops only for men, owned by old style barbers, where you can get your hair cut, be shaved.... and have a nice chat with the barber!
The one I went to this time is about to be closed (a "For Hire" sign is on the door already), is a bit ruined and the age of the customers is close to 80-90. I enjoyed my last stay there, as it will probably be my really LAST time there. New "design" haircut shops, unisex and so are opening all around, so these old barbershops will disappear soon I am afraid.
I'm not a good chatter, so this time I lietened carefully to all the conversations around. There was a sense of decay and death in the air... the customers (all of them in the 80s) talked about gone things, gone persons & friends, gone shops... a perfect plot for a Luchino Visconti's film!!! :-)
Before the big shopping Malls and El Corte Ingles gathered all the shopping activity out of town, this narrow street has traditionally been a main shopping area in Cadiz. The most important fashion, furniture, shops, bookshops... were (and some still are) located here.
Literally, "Cadiz's bread", though is not bred, but marzipan stuffed with fruits and is a traditional sweet of Xmas time, though you can find it anytime. Ask for it in the souvenir shops.
A good place to buy it is in the patisserie "El Populo", in the Pelota street, the little street from the Cathedral to the Town Hall.
3 to 6 euros p/p
Central market is built on land that was once a convent, it was built in 1837. Its interior has even been used for circus's. Today you can buy all kinds of food there, including fish, meat, bread, vegatables, besides non food items.
It was open when we were there in the early evening.
The narrow streets of the old town are lined with small shops, this one caught my eye it was quite quaint. The candy was sold from jars as it would have been done in times past, along with all the colours, I thought it quite photogenic.
You're sure to find a great shop that sells local ceramics or antiques, but what I was most interested was the food. I found a place that had a great assortment of pastries, cookies and candies and I asked the lady who worked there what was typical of Cadiz. She told me to try the turron, which is a nougat of some kind that is sweet and chewy and slightly nutty in taste that was really good!
For some reason here in Spain you don't buy Stamps from the Correos (Post Office), but from Tobacconists.
You won't see them on display or any signs saying they sell them, here in Cadiz you are expected to know.
So you walk in to a Tobacco shop and you ask for 'Sellos' (pronounced seyos) they will then ask you if it is for Europe or not. If you tell them what country you are sending your postcard or letter to they will automatically give you the correct amount.
There is no First Class and Second Class system here.
The Plaza de las flores is a bustling plaza in front of the Correos (Post Office) with many street vendors offering gift items and souveniers.
What to buy: This is the place to find flowers for your special senorita. It is also good to find your post cards for family and friends as well as a local newspaper.
El Corte Ingles is Spain's only real department store chain. And although Northern Europeans or Americans maybe used to getting everything under one roof my advice is to shop around as El Corte Ingles has much higher prices than other shops. The quality of goods is fine but it is better to support smaller businesses (sorry to be so blunt). Only shop here is it is necessary or you have plenty of money.
Hipercor which is an offshoot of El Corte Ingles is contained within it, selling food and many of the same products as Corte Ingles but at slightly cheaper prices. It is still more expensive than other supermarkets, clothes, shoes, cosmetics and household goods shops.
What to buy: Saying all that against them, I often go to Hipercor within Corte ingles as it has a food section; if I need a special ingredient such as fresh thai chilli's or Wasabi or Nori to make sushi. You will also find some British,German and Belgian products as well as Mexican Mole and Chipoles in a can which you can't find in other places.
They have a small international section by the beers.
The small Club Gourmet in Corte Ingles also has food from all over the world and even glass bottles of designer water costing about 5 or 7 euros.
Heinz tomato soup can be found here at an extortionate price too.
There are also Expensive wines.
The only food section in Corte Ingles apart from Club Gourmet is in Hipercor.
I bought my computer in Corte Ingles because they where the only people willing to give me the credit to pay it off monthly as I am technically not a Spanish national. It was more expensive than other places but they do offer a good guarantee and insurance policy on electrical goods. The main reason was of course I couldn't buy a computer outright and needed the credit option.
What to buy:
So you've been to the Costa del Sol and got you're bull fighter's poster, your mini bull and personalised name plate; you've been to Madrid and got you're large Spanish flag to hang on your wall, so what can you take home from Cadiz? Anything different? Why yes of course!
One idea is mini Cadiz. One Christmas I bought my mum mini models of Cadiz from the equivalent of 50p and pound shops which you can find just about everywhere. I bought her a mini Cathedral, Town Hall and Puerta Tierra. I also gave her the typical ceramic plate with a picture of Cadiz on. It was small and sturdy so as not to break on the plane. Oh yes, she likes snow shakers, but as it doesn't snow here they have rain shakers, so I got her one of those too ;)
Apart from these type of things there are lots of foods and drinks you should consider taking back such as Spanish cured ham or of course some sherry which is from the province of Cadiz. You can get these in any supermarket or what's better buy the sherry from a bodega in El Puerto de Santa Maria or Jerez.
Around Christmas time you should buy Turron or polvernones (similar to shortbread).
There is also something called Pan de Cadiz which is sweet bread with coloured sweet squares in the middle. you can get this from La Gloria in Calle Plocia near the Town hall.
At Easter time you can buy another type of sweet called Torrijas from bakeries such as La Gloria.
It is a great shopping Center, as you have them in other big citys in Spain.
What to buy: You can buy everything there !
Prices are not cheap because you have all the wellknown marks of the articles. But when you go during "rebajas" you can buy things at good prices.
What to pay: Prices are not cheap because you have all the wellknown marks of the articles. But when you go during "rebajas" you can buy things at good prices.
This shop was selling al sorts of stuff, all a bit different than usual. They had bags, toys, lamps, everything was looking really cool.
What to buy: My sister bought a marroccan bong here and I bought one of those light you can clip onto your book.
What to pay: It's not too expensive
Here you can't buy paracetamol (same word in Spanish) or other pain killers in supermarkets such as in Britain, Canada and the USA, you must go to a chemist which are always advertised by a green cross.
For most other non prescription drugs you must also go to a Pharmacy. Only condoms and vitamins tend to be sold in supermarkets.
Back in the old days (well until last year actually) you could buy antibiotics and the anti contraceptive pill over the counter without a prescription. This has changed and these days you must have see a doctor first. Go to the nearest "Centro de Salud" and get an appointment to see a doctor. If all else fails go to the Accident and Emergency department in the nearest hospital, but be prepared to WAIT.
What to buy: Drugs
We were told it is one of the oldest covered in Spain.
Nos dijeron que era el mas antiguo cubierto de España