At the end of May Alex, Reuben, Paisley, and I headed to Spain to visit Annie, who’s spending her second semester in Cádiz. It’s the last big trip of my year abroad, which seems fitting given how great Annie made our first semester.
Leaving Mannheim at 6am and getting a plane from Frankfurt Airport to Seville Airport, an Uber from the airport to the train station, and a train from Seville to Cádiz, we got to Annie at about 4pm.
Cádiz is so pretty, with old Spanish buildings and palm trees and a bronzed Annie Jackson, I loved it instantly. And despite studying the language, this was my first ever trip to Spain, making it even more special.
We hit the beach as soon as we’d dropped our stuff off at our Airbnb. After months of seeing it on Snapchat, it was so nice to be at Annie’s spot on La Caleta and my first Mediterranean beach experience was a hit.
We’d not eaten properly all day but had to wait until about 8.30pm to head to a restaurant because Spanish mealtimes are so late. Annie took us to a cosy tapas bar with all wooden décor and a man playing guitar in the corner which really put us in the Spanish mood. There were loads of little vegan options, including a teeny tiny vegan burger; it was so cute.
Our first full day in Spain was spent exploring the city. Cádiz is a maze of narrow streets dotted with some beautiful squares. I really love the Spanish architecture, and how the sun makes everything look even prettier.
For breakfast we got churros at a churreria (oh so Spanish). It was just 1€ for a massive bouquet of churros, making them the cheapest churros I’ve ever bought, and definitely some of the best. I liked them so much that I ate all mine and even finished off Paisley’s.
Cádiz is home to tonnes of souvenir stalls and “girly tat” shops, as Annie so aptly calls them, so we dedicated some time to browsing those. There was girly tat-galoire; with 1€ bracelets and anklets and cheap fridge magnets and compact mirrors, it was great. Unsurprisingly, Alex and Reuben bought hats and sunglasses (Reuben’s hat survived the holiday, his sunglasses didn’t).
The most significant building in the city is the cathedral, which is really beautiful. We paid 4€ each to go in, which included going up to the top and getting an amazing view of Cádiz. We could see most of the old part of the city and got a lovely view of the sea.
It was quite hot in the afternoon, so we sat in the shade outside a bar and had some cold sangria.
For dinner we went to Cádiz’s fancier tapas restaurant. The tapas weren’t very vegan, so I had a “bean cake”. Unfortunately, is wasn’t a baked bean cake but it was still really lovely; Spain was so much better for vegans than I was expecting. We also got ice cream afterwards, before experiencing a Cádiz night out.
On our final full day in Cádiz we went to an amazing vegan restaurant called La Veganesa, where we had vegan tapas. I had a vegan Spanish omelette which was delicious, definitely the nicest thing I ate in Cádiz and some stuffed mushrooms. Nestled on a quiet street next to bright pink flowers, it was the perfect place to eat outside, and its cow-with-a-flower-in-its-hair logo was adorable. One of my favourite vegan restaurants ever.
We then spent the rest of the day at the beach, soaking in the Spanish sun, sea, and sand whilst we still could.
Our final evening was so random. We wanted to get some nice group photos so went to a pretty park near the university. However, whilst we were busy with a photo shoot, all the gates in the park seemed to get locked and we spent ages searching for an exit whilst locals walked past and gawked at us like we were animals in a zoo. Some random Spanish people outside told us to call the police and we almost did until one angel old man explained that there was one gate that wasn’t actually locked. So, although we weren’t really stuck at all, we still enjoyed the exciting experience of being stuck in a random Spanish park for a little while.
When we were finally free, we went for our final tapas meal of our Spanish holiday and then spent some time sat on the cathedral steps reminiscing about our first semester in Mannheim.
Saying goodbye to Annie and Cádiz on our final day was sad, the trip had been amazing, and I wish we could have stayed in sunny Spain with sunny Annie for longer. But it’s definitely a hasta luego and not an adios.
Thank you so much to Annie for being the most excitable loving tour guide ever (and showing us all the important…historic?…sights in Cádiz), to Paisley for being the group trip fairy godmother, and to the boys for being their usual entertaining selves. Dios mío, what a fun summer holiday.