Scribbler in Seville

Cadiz Carnaval 2017

Think pink: you can’t go wrong with a flock of flamingos.

A colourful gang, including American service personnel from nearby Rota naval base, dressed as NASA astronauts.

One of several orange-haired Trumps, accompanied here by some Mexican friends.

Lola in her new wig, before it started shedding.

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.


Street sellers with their carnival masks and wigs.

Forewarned of the police’s arrival, the sellers pack up their wares.

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).

Always topical at Cadiz Carnaval – banking scandals and “We’re fed up” (literally, “We’re up to the moustache” –  a reference to the Gürtel corruption case).

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.

Another pun on Gürtel/living frugally (“Tighten your belt”).

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.

Jellyfish and scuba-divers? Why not!

What a great idea – simple, yet effective: the Masterchef family – Junior Masterchef is huge here (though possibly not so popular with Alma).

A packed street at Cadiz Carnival – always a friendly atmosphere, with some people in masks, others in full fancy dress, and plenty in mufti.

This nun had an interesting appendage.

Dancer (not really fancy dress) in front of the cathedral.

Native Americans doing a war dance on the steps of the cath

Great costumes, not sure what the theme was.

A dig at Madrid’s failure to make a successful Olympic bid.

Inflatables were big this year, including these men riding donkeys.

I coached this Trump on the correct expression, especially his lìp-pursing.

Alegrias de Cadiz has products from all over the province – sherry, almadraba tuna, olive oil, cheese and beer.

Part of the 11th-century city wall into which deli Alegrias de Cadiz is built.

Our seafood seller (left), with his mojama (dried tuna), cockles and shrimp, was a right character.

Camarones – tiny shrimp, bursting with flavour. Often seen in tortillitas de camarones, aka little shrimp fritters.

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!


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