Cadiz Spain Church

In a way, Day 9 on our Oceania Riviera cruise was a sad day. On this day, Tuesday, April 12, 2022, we were SUPPOSED to be in Morocco. Morocco!! Amazing city! Historic! A key reason we signed up for this cruise was to be able to visit Morocco.

But it was not meant to be.

Oceania never quite said why we had to change the itinerary, but undoubtedly COVID was a base reason. And in a small way, it was a relief. Morocco was on Italy’s list of “dangerous countries”. Italy was our end destination. If we stopped in Morocco and then went on to land in Italy, there’d be all sorts of forms and issues involved. All of those concerns went away once we bypassed Morocco.

Still, it was sad to miss out on that opportunity. Someday we’ll have to go back and visit Morocco.

The “consolation prize” Oceania gave us instead was Cadiz. And, really, Cadiz is an amazing place. This incredibly historic port town of Spain is FULL of ancient Roman buildings, ancient Spanish churches, you name it. Plus, it was Tuesday and on Sunday was Easter. That meant Cadiz was already gearing up for Easter and had all their beautiful floats and flowers and such on display.

We didn’t have any tours planned, so my sister, my mom, and I headed out on foot.

Cadiz is beautiful. Everywhere you turn are historic buildings and architecture.

There are also a ton of shops. Some had quite amusing items to go with the holidays. To American eyes, these sort of look like Ku Klux Klan candies.

First we went to the Cadiz Cathedral. Yes, the building itself was stunning, with beautiful stonework, paintings, etc. etc. But **also** they had simply amazing floats staged within. So it was doubly stunning.

Next, we went to the ancient Roman Theater, which had only been discovered by accident in 1980. This was one of the largest Roman Theaters in existence and could seat 10,000 participants! It was amazing to walk through the halls and imagine how this would have felt in 100 BC. So much hasn’t changed in life.

Nearby was the Church of the Holy Cross / Parroquia de Santa Crus. Again, absolutely beautiful. Lots of floats staged for the procession.

I felt fairly iffy about the new method of fire control in churches, though. In the past, when I went to a church I would light a candle for my grandmother. Here, though, you dropped in a euro and an LED candle would light up. Drop in more coins, more LED candles sprung to life. I don’t know. It just felt … plastic. I know real candles are fire hazards, but it will take some getting used to.

We walked through some gorgeous open-air markets for clothing and food. It was delightful.

Finally our feet were tired and we headed back to the Riviera. I had a nice big salad and was thoroughly happy. Soon enough it was 4pm tea time with our musical trio. Then art class drawing beautiful calla lilies. Then dinner in the main dining room. I wanted to show the gorgeous white lace over-dress my sister got in the marketplace. They have beautiful items in Cadiz.

I know it feels to some people like I am harping on the way these dishes are presented. I am really trying to look for “lovely plated dishes” to showcase. I spent many years writing articles for a local winery magazine where I would praise the local restaurants for their wine and food pairings. The dishes served were always magazine-quality. We would run photos of the dishes along the winery reviews. I just am not impressed with the plating on the Oceania Riviera. Countless cooks will tell you that how a dish is presented to you matters immensely. And then I get served this.

It’s just not right. The display is supposed to entice the eater. It’s supposed to then entice other nearby tables to want to order it. This … not so much. If I tried to submit this photo with one of my winery reviews, I doubt it would have been published.

Jenn and I had barely been able to see the Rock of Gibraltar on the way out, so we made absolutely sure that we were going to see it on the way back in to the Mediterranean Sea. Maybe a bit TOO sure. We went up on the top deck and waited … waited … we did get interesting photos of other things, and learned how to balance on the rocks in the miniature golf course, but it took a LONG time before we finally got to see the rock.

Still, we did see it.

Finally, after a long day of exploring and art and food, it was time to sleep.

Ask with any questions!

Walking toward the Cadiz Cathedral –

Cadiz Cathedral –

Detail from Cadiz Cathedral –

Cadiz Candleabra –

Roman Theater of Cadiz –

Seating area of Roman Theater –

LED Candles at Church of the Holy Cross –

An Alley in Cadiz –

Cadiz Spain view from the balcony on the Oceania Riviera –

The next day in this travelogue is Day 10 –

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