This year, we went to Cadiz Carnaval – not for the first time. Four years ago, my daughter Lola and I dressed up, but this year – despite having a fabulous tiger costume generously given by a genius friend who made it herself – sadly Lola didn’t want to. So she plumped for an orange wig which we bought from a street-seller, and lasted about an hour before the hair came out in clumps.
The atmosphere at Carnaval was as friendly as ever, but always with a police presence – the purveyors of masks, sunglasses and wigs in front of the Ayuntamiento (Town Hall), with their wares on rugs spread out on the ground, had to scarper fast when word arrived that the boys in black were on their way. None of the sellers were caught.
During our wanders around the streets of the old town near the cathedral and Town Hall – both areas where people gather and are great for photo opportunities – we saw flamingos, astronauts, native Americans, jellyfish, a few Donald Trumps, and a transexual nun (yes, you read that right).
As always, there was plenty of political commentary – this year focussed on the infamous Caso Gürtel, the Valencian PP corruption scandal which has been brewing for years.
Gaditanos have always been traditionally left-leaning, and defied Franco by continuing with their carnival traditions, despite the annual celebration being outlawed by the dictator.
As well as the ever-delicious seafood, we stumbled upon a deli called Alegrias de Cadiz, and were indeed happy to find reasonably/priced bocadillos, as well as delicious produce from the mountains and coast of Cadiz – almadraba tuna, wine, cheese, honey and beer. It’s next to the Arco del Populo, and the owner Angel is a delight. He let us taste some local Cadiz wine, which got our visit off to a great start!