A couple weekends ago, I went to Carnaval in the southern part of Spain. It was an 8 hour bus ride, and let's just say it was a rather long bus ride. We got to Jerez de la Frontera (the town we stayed in because all the hotels in Cadiz were completely booked) at 5:30 in the morning and nothing was open. Nina and I hadn't exactly looked up where our hotel was because we knew generally where it was, so we began walking around trying to find it. We failed and ended up getting a taxi. It was raining and cold.
So, we get to our hotel at around 7:00 and the guy at the front desk gives us a funny look. He looks at his registration papers, and says that we're not supposed to be arriving until 7:00 P.M. P.M., not A.M. When I filled out the info. online, I put 7:00 because I just figured that would be fine. Haha no. So after talking with the man in very broken Spanish, he finally understood that there had been a miscommunication. He said that we couldn't get our room until 11:00, so we would have to wait. My friend Nina looked at me and said, "¿Qué hacemos?" (What are we going to do). I just responded with "Andar" (To walk). Give me a break, it was early. The guy started to seriously feel bad for us because he said that he would let us into another room, and not charge us the fee but if his boss asked, we got in at 10:00, so not to come downstairs. How nice of him, it probably helped that Nina has blonde hair. Just sayin'. So we slept for a few hours before meeting up with our friends from Albion to head downtown to Cadiz.
The first day, Friday, was not a successful day for Carnaval. The weather was terrible and there were no signs of a Carnaval anywhere. We walked around in the rain trying to find people dressed up but there was no one. After talking to some locals, we came to discover that the Carnaval officially begins on Saturday. Shoot a day early. So we walked around for awhile, exploring beaches, sitting in Ben and Jerry's, and trying to stay out of the rain. It was a fun day regardless, but I was glad to get home and take a really long hot shower.
The next day was like the exact opposite. Nina and I got up early to explore Jerez and it is a beautiful southern town of Spain. It had orange trees lining the streets and cute little plazas with quaint cafes on the outskirts. We stumbled upon old churches and even a castle. Quite the adventurers.
Saturday in Cadiz was very different than the previous day. Let's just say Carnaval is like Halloween only on steroids. There were so many people dressed up in ridiculous costumes! I would put some of my favorites on here, but they might not be suitable for children and I'm not exactly sure who even reads this blog. But the weather held up and it was a pretty nice day. We walked around pretty much all of Cadiz multiple times, which I guess is one of the oldest towns in all of Spain. For awhile, we just sat on the sea wall, looking out at the ocean. Yes, I sat by the ocean in February and it was warm out. Life is good. It was also warm enough to eat ice cream/gelato. Oh wait, it's always a good time to eat gelato! It's amazing how things look so much nicer when it's sunny. But all in all, it was a successful day of people watching and I'm glad we went. Definitely haven't seen some of those costumes in the U.S., but then again maybe they will appear next year. Let's hope not. I would label this as a very successful first trip. ¡Yay Cadiz!