The Plaza de Cathedral de Cadiz is a popular tourist spot. In addition to the Cathedral you will find many small establishments that cater to the tourist such as food stalls or souveniers. Unfortunately there is a lot of garbage produced near this plaza and is very evident, souring the experience.
Puentes and Finding Accomodation
First I will explain what a puente is (literally bridge) but in reality it is when an extra holiday day is given between a bank holiday and the weekend. For example there may be a bank holiday on Thursday, this means many people get or take a puente on Friday, enjoying a four day weekend.
More and more Spaniards take the opportunity to travel on these long weekends, meaning that hostels and hostels can fill up quickly and if you don't book or arrive early enough you may be left without a roof over your head.
This May day (labour day 1st May) fell on a Thursday making it a lovely four day weekend. Some
friends of a friend arrived late in Cadiz looking for a Hotel. We spent the night trying to help them going from hotel to hotel, but no luck (kind of like Mary in Bethlehem). All the hotels and hostels of all price ranges were full. They decided to look in the neighbouring towns but said they had no luck either. At 4 or 5 in the morning they finally found a place passed Sevilla!!!!!!! I can imagine they didn't check all places in neighbouring towns as they had no idea where to find the hostels and had no guide book. They didn't enter into Sevilla either, but anyway, find out when the Spanish bank holidays and local holidays are so you aren't caught out in this way.
Here is a list of National Holidays but there are more local holidays and carnaval in Cadiz to take into account.
As I have mentioned before, flat renting even for holidays is very common here so some words of warning are in order:
1) QUALITY: The quality of flats is often low although the prices are high. Don't expect an oven as a functioning oven in a rented flat is a rare treasure. Expect the windows to let in a lot of air so take this into account if coming for the colder months. Door too for that matter. Don't throw paper down the toilet unless it is really necessary as the pipes can't cope with it especially in older flats. Windows often don't lock as burglary is uncommon.
2) TIME: If you are coming in July and August and want to rent a flat then you'll have the pick of the crop if you don't mind paying though the nose for a beach front flat. If you are arriving at any other time of the year with the intention of staying at least a year, good luck. Although flat prices are lower than in the summer, flats are still over valued especially when you can only rent until the end of June in the majority of cases. Lots of people rent out flats September/October until the end of June to Students and then rent them out in summer for extortionate prices to holiday makers from Madrid and Sevilla.
The best time too look for a flat is September/October. If you are lucky enough to find someone to rent you a flat for an entire year you will a) pay more money each month to compensate for summer or b) have to pay a higher rent in summer.
A flat From September until June can cost 450-650 euros a month
A flat all year can cost 900-1000 euros a month
A flat for one month in summer can cost you 1000 a week or 1500 a month. It is more expensive in August than July. If you come for a month in September it is less than July and August but still more expensive than winter prices. If you rent until June from September the price is normal.
3) CONTRACTS: Most people who rent flats do not declare their flats for tax purposes which excludes you from benefits and from putting yourself of the voting list among other things. It also means that a computer printed contract not seen by anyone remotely connected with the law is common.
You normally have to pay a months rent in advance.
Flat owners don't like making legal contacts for one year as it gives the person who rents it the right to stay for 5 years.
NOTE: Finding a room in a shared flat is also an option especially if you are a single person who wants to come here in summer.
- Budget Travel
- Work Abroad
- Study Abroad
Water, water everywhere...
Water is important in Cadiz for many reasons: it is surrounded by it, it lacks it, it's expensive, the roads get full of it when it rains.
Tap water is safe to drink although it is hard so has flavour to to it which many find disagreeable. All you have to do is let it run a few seconds before filling your glass up. This gets rid of the water which has been trapped in the pipes all day and cools it too. I usually buy mineral water as it is cheap (23 cents a bottle), but when I run out I will have tap water though I usually put ice cubes and a bit of lemon in it which makes a very refreshing drink.
About ten years ago people talked about that during the summer the water would be cut off for a few hours due to a lack of supplies, this has been solved and hasn't happened for years, so if you have heard rumours of this don't worry, it won't happen.
Saying this water isn't used very wisely here and of course a lot of water is used cleaning the streets as there isn't enough rain to do this .
When it does rain the drains cannot take the sudden influx of water as when it rains here, it really rains. This results in flooded gutters and massive puddles along the road side, it some areas plazas and patios get flooded too.
As I mentioned in my accommodation tips it is very common to rent a flat here in the summer instead of staying in a hotel, or if you are coming here to study or work, take note that the water bills are very high here; Cadiz has some the highest tariffs in Andalucia. So check and see if your bill is included in the rent or if you are on a meter as you may want to be cafeful with your consumption as you may get landed with a very high bill indeed. The bills here are the double of other provinces such as Malaga.
- Budget Travel
- Study Abroad
- Work Abroad
Don't assume they will speak english!
Please don't do the typical british thing of assuming that everyone will just speak english, as they won't. All the people we encountered were friendly and helpful and, quite rightly, expect you to at least attempt to speak their language - even a little will go a long way like just asking for an english menu in spanish. We made the mistake when first arriving in cadiz and trying to get a bus from the airport, the driver knew where we wanted to go and understood us but wouldnt let us on until we had both pronounced cadiz properly, he was just joking with us but we did feel a little embarassed. That said don't be put off by this as everone is very understanding and as we didnt know our way around the driver spoke to a lady on the bus and so she got off with us and walked us to the hotel even though she wasn't going that way which i thought was pretty kind of her!
Cadiz can get very windy. There are two predominant winds here Levante and Poniente.
Levante is a strong warm wind that blows from the South East. It can last several days and although doesn't chill the air it does mean that going to beach can be unpleasant as the sand whips across you sandblasting you and manages to get everywhere including your ears and eyes. On these days head into the Centre of Cadiz where it isn't as strong to see the Cathedral and other sights. Or even head off to see some of the amazing white towns these days although they will still be windy.
Poniente is a cold wind that comes off the Atlantic. It is often less strong than Levante but can chill the air especially in the evening. It is good for surfing.
Tarifa is especially affected by these winds as it is closer to the Gibralter straights.
Keeping money safe
When my sister came to visit me, who lives on the Canary Islands, we noticed a difference in how you should keep money safe.
We were going to the 'piojito'(flea market) and I noticed she had ALL her money with her, her passport and all other documentation. When I told her she shouldn't carry all those things with her here, because although Cadiz is safe there is a danger or pickpockets especially at the market.
She told me that where she lives in fuertaventura there is a higher risk of your house being broken into and people carry around wads of money.
In Cadiz this is the opposite, as there is not much risk of your house being broken into.
I know they tell tourists to always carry there passports with them, but make sure it is safe. Try not to carry all your money in one place and if you have a safe place to stay, like a good hotel or flat, I think it is best not to take all your money with you.
- Women's Travel
If you are here for Christmas and are hoping to enjoy a meal in a nice restaurant 24th December you may be in for a nasty shock as most, if not all, restaurants will be closed as 'Nochebuena' is a family night and most people will be having a banquet with their families that night.
You don't want to be having bread and butter knowing everyone else is stuffing their faces with king prawns and the such like!
- Family Travel
- Food and Dining
If you visit Jerez, whatever you do DON'T go to the zoo. The conditions for the animals are appalling and many show signs of mental problems. Such as pacing their small cages continuously or the Apes go mad and have even cracked the glass while stupid kids goad them on.
My heart nearly broke when I saw some little monkeys down a well and one of them held up a small branch to me; like he was saying 'help me help me, pull me out'. But alas the branch didn't reach and I couldn't pull him out. The memory still haunts me today.
The elephant was trapped in a small square with barely enough room to turn around.
PLEASE PLEASE DON'T SUPPORT THIS HORRIFIC PLACE! Thank you.
In Cadiz city and the surrounding towns the streets are narrow and many cobbled; for this reason many people use scooters. This usually wouldn’t be a problem, but for some reason the people of this area like to take the silencers off. Therefore the noise they make sounds something like a lawn mower with a megaphone attached to the front. It really is a ridiculously loud and annoying sound. You are walking happily down the street then all of a sudden you hear this terrifying noise. You think 'What's that? Could it be an escaped lawn mower? A large motorcycle?' Then when you turn round and see a young guy on a granny's moped your first reaction is anger and your second reaction is to laugh! How can they think they are cool riding a scooter that makes a sound like a demented lawn mower!!!!!!!
You really have to hear it to believe it. I’ll never understand why they do it? If you are one of these people or know someone, please let me know the purpose!
The other thing is, even though it is law to wear a helmet whilst on a moto; here it is a rare sight! Instead you will see two people with a kid sandwiched in between and a big dog tucked between their feet. We call these people 'kinkys' (no relation to the English meaning!!).
- Road Trip
Belleza y Trabajo (beauty and work).
Cadiz is just so beautiful you'll probably be tempted to pack up and move there, but be warned there are NO jobs. Unemployment is at its highest in Cadiz at something like 40 per cent. You can find work TEFL teaching but employers in the south of Spain (for example the R's in El Puerto de Santa Maria- you know who you are!) are sharks and give you bad contracts and low wages. If you want to stay there for more than a year it can be difficult if you don't have savings. If you are looking for work in the area try Top Lingua, Select or working for the Junta on a FPO scheme.
Expect to work 25-27 hours a week. A good wage would be 900-1000 euros a month on a contract. What ever you do don't agree to work for 20-27hours for around 600-800 euros!! IF YOU DO YOU ARE BEING RIPPED OFF!!!!!!!!BIG TIME!!!!!!!!!!! Also make sure it is not paid by the hour as adult classes can be small or individual so if they cancel (and they will) you won't get paid! So although it looks better to take a by the hour wage as it is usually a little more per hour, it ends up being a bad deal. Especially around Christmas or June. Many people don't come in December because they don't want to pay for a month where there are loads of Holidays. Summer begins in June and Motivation is low (and again they don't want to pay for a full month because usually classes end around the 20th).
Another point to remember that schools are usually closed in July, August and September so be prepared to find work somewhere else or be VERY poor! If you are young (18-22) summer camps are a good idea.
If you would like anymore info about working in Spain as an English teacher or getting a TEFL/TESOL teaching qualification, don't hesitate to contact me!
- Work Abroad
Be prepared for wind.
When we visited we were lucky with the weather, it was a bright and sunny January day with little wind. But as this photo shows, this section of the coast is well exposed to the Atlantic winds, in fact Tarifa further down the coast is the windyest spot in Europe. So be prepared and take along a Jersey or even a coat if the weather looks bad.
The stone pillars in the photo are on Cadizs seafront, I was amazed at the scale of erosion on them, guessing that they have probably only been there 80 years at most. The wind and sea had scoured away the soft limestone pillars.
¡¡¡ THE MUMMY !!!
cadiz was conquered by many different countries. greeks, romans, french, and lately some german and british turists. the last discovery has been that the egiptian pharaoh Elenitati IV also domained between 2988 and 2954 b.C. but she was betrayed by her first counselor, Txikitatis Andujartamon. he tried to atract her and once she was seduced, he killed her taking off his shoes. now, the horrible mummy of the pharaoh terrorizes his descendants. beaware and try not to found her because she has such a bad milk when she gets angry
PICKPOCKETSWhen you are at...
When you are at the beach, mostly in summer, take good care of your things. Thare have been cases of pickpockets. Keep an eye on the stuff, is better to prevent...
Si vas en tu propio coche,...
Si vas en tu propio coche, procura llevar todo los papeles y demas en regla, pues la Guardia Civil, suele parar mucho a los vehiculos, y suele caer alguna que otra multa (lo digo por experiencia). Motivo: es una zona con mucho movimiento migratorio de Africa y trafico de drogas.