It's been another action-packed few days here in Cádiz. On Wednesday morning the students took part in a Master Chef challenge where they had to learn to make the local drink, sangría (minus the alcohol, of course!). Led by our teacher Brenda, they were challenged to source ingredients and communicate with staff in Spanish in order to find what they needed. And after a successful shopping trip it was time to take it back inside and put it all together before enjoying a sip of their very own version of one of Spain's most famous exports. A perfect activity just as the Cádiz summer approaches its apex.
Later that day we kicked the linguistic immersion up a gear by taking our students to the local cinema to see Yesterday, Danny Boyle's new film about a man who wakes up in a world where no one remembers the music of the Beatles. It really kept students on their toes listening to an entire film in Spanish with no subtitles, and to their credit they were able to keep up! A film about the Beatles filmed partly in Liverpool gave some homesickness to our course director who is a native of the city, and also gave the students a chance to poke a bit of fun!
Thursday gave our group the opportunity to indulge in some much-needed retail therapy before we took trip up to the Torre de Tavira, the tallest building in Cádiz. Together we took in some spectacular views of the city and its crystal blue Atlantic coast. It also gave us plenty of time to take some selfies! Atop the tower, we were given a bird's eye view of the city's closely-knit streets and alleyways and caught a beautiful vista of the cathedral which dominates the Cádiz skyline.
After we were done taking selfies we headed back inside the tower to enjoy the camera obscura, a darkened room connected to the roof by a series of mirrors which project a strikingly clear reflection of the city onto a screen. Our brilliant guide took us on a virtual tour of the city by zooming into some of Cádiz's most important historical sites and giving us an insight into the history. Amazing how a simple series of mirrors and lenses could produce such an amazing perspective of the city, and in such minute detail.
Later it was time to let off some steam. A group disco night in a bar near Playa de la Victoria at the outer edge of Cádiz proved an extremely popular choice, giving our students the chance to dance to some of their favourite music while enjoying a (non-alcoholic!) drink or two. They also had great fun challenging each other, and the staff, to a game of table football. And for an extra slice of home, we even had sandwiches and burgers delivered from one of Cádiz's best fast food joints.
And to cap off a great day, the group headed down to Plaza Ingeniero la Cierva to enjoy Alehop, Cádiz's summer-long open-air circus festival. As the sun went down over Cádiz, we were treated to amazing four-man juggling and balancing act that kept everyone enthralled. A highly entertaining end to another jam-packed day here in Cádiz!
Keep following the blog for news of our visit to the Cádiz holy caves as well as our excursion to the magnificent city of Ronda...
Paul Hyland recently graduated with a PhD in Spanish and Latin American literature from the University of Cambridge. He also holds a first class degree in Spanish and German, as well as an MPhil in European Literature from the same institution.