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Cadiz: Spain’s Biggest Carnival

Posted by Squiffy on February 22nd, 2008

Lent is the time for carnivals in Spain, and we planned our trip to coincide with the carnaval in Cadiz, apparently the biggest in Spain and the third biggest in the world (after Rio and ??). Most of the budget accommodation was booked up so we treated ourselves to a 4 star hotel near the centre of town. I only tell you this so that I can note our car park experience which was like something out of Batman. To park our car under the hotel, we had to drive our car into a regular looking elevator, which we filled with our Ford Focus and left little room for the security guard who accompanied us. We then went down two levels and drove out into what I expected to be the Bat Cave. Unfortunately, nothing so exciting but it was a novel experience.

The carnival started to warm up at about 7pm, with African drum style bands playing music in the streets. Unlike British carnivals which are a procession of floats, here there where several stages around the city on which nominated acts performed in rotation. All the groups were in fancy dress and sang lyrics which must have been dittys, as the crowds were laughing along. My favourite act was a group of angry girls who appeared to be performing an ‘I will survive’ style song, with lots of arm motioning and scowling. Gloria Gaynor had nothing on them.  All of the carnival costumes were weird and wacky, and it was clear a lot of effort had been put in to make them.

Dave and I enjoyed just wondering the old town, taking in the atmosphere and having pictures taken with the people in elaborate outfits. Definitely an experience to be recommended, as too is Cadiz, a Spanish city with long surfing beaches.


Comment from Mum N.
Time: February 23, 2008, 10:56 am

Ref. picture no.16 – are you sure they weren’t caterpillars !!

Comment from Mum N.
Time: February 23, 2008, 11:01 am

I think you have been away from work too long now Sqiffy : ” caos ” or chaos ; ” wondering ” or wandering ! Looking forward to seeing you tomorrow. xx

Comment from Claire
Time: February 23, 2008, 6:36 pm

Hmmm…I’m going to blame such errors on being tired from a 30 hour ferry crossing. Anyway, touche because ‘Sqiffy’ in fact has a ‘u’ as you will know from the q followed by u rule :o)

Re: picture 16, yes, you could be right!

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