Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Cádiz City, Andalucía [Part IV of V]

Cádiz is a province in Andalucía and its capital, 'Cádiz city', is an old port city - connected to the mainland by a longish, narrow strip of land - that is almost completely surrounded by water and facing out to the Atlantic Ocean. This could only mean that what you’ll find are stretches of nice sandy beaches (four of them in fact) and great local seafood.

Living in the center of Spain and deprived from being near any sea, those were really the highlights for me.

[Note: La Playa de la Caleta in Cádiz is THE beach where part of the filming of the James Bond movie ‘Die Another Day’ took place. The very scene in which Halle Berry emerges from the water in the famous orange bikini - they were supposedly in Cuba, but it was indeed SPAIN!]

Above & below: The Playa de la Victoria of Cádiz. One of the best kept beaches I've come across.

Above: Besides Halle Berry, even the other stuff that gets washed up on the shore looks kinda pretty.

Above: The Holy & Apostolic Cathedral of Cádiz, a famous landmark of the city. It was built over a period of 116 years under the direction of 6 different architects. The completed Cathedral eventually reflects the various styles of the different architects and includes Baroque, Rococo & Neo-Classical elements.

Above: Possibly the slimmest & tallest tree I've ever seen, located in the Plaza de la Cathedral.

One other attraction of Cádiz is Torre Tavira (Tavira Tower). This tower at some point was the tallest watch tower in the city and today, it remains a point of cultural interest. What's unique about this tower is that it has installed in it, the 'Camera Obscura'.

The 'Camera Obscura' follows a simple optical principle that enables 360 degrees live images from around the watch tower to be captured through an opening of a boxed structure sitting on top of the tower and onto the angled mirror inside it. The images are then reflected unto a magnifying lens and projected unto a large curved dish in the darkened viewing gallery.

Above: The structure of the mirror casing on top of the tower.

Below: The concaved dish on which the captured images will be projected on. This shot was taken before the session starts as pictures are not allowed during the session when the lights are out.

Using this viewing system, a staff member will give a visual tour of the city, pointing out the important landmarks with some brief history and information. Truly a great way to get a bird's eye view and understanding of Cádiz City. For more information on the 'Camera Obscura', click here.

Above: View from the terrace of Torre Tavira, an example of what is captured and reflected by the Camera Obscura.

Even as the night falls, activities around the beaches of Cádiz continue.

Above: People enjoying a game of beach volley ball

Above: A street artist performing his 'sand art' and projecting his work unto a screen. I really applaud some of these guys who are truly talented and deserve a lot more for their creativity.

Above: There are lots of great seafood restaurants in Cádiz naturally. I went to one which the hotel recommended (I think it was 'La Marina') and the fish was SO GOOD.

Above: Lots of people enjoying the night after dinner, strolling along Paseo Maritimo (Maritime Walk) by the Victoria Beach.

Above: One of the bars where you can chill out at with a drink on the beach before calling it a night.

My final stop in Andalucía coming up next. Stay tuned!

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