June 21: Puerto de Santa María
Another great day in Cádiz. The weather has cooled down a little and there is even a slight breeze! As part of their morning classes our students went to the market in the old part of Cádiz to sample some local fare and to visit some shops.
After lunch we went by catamarán to the port of Santa María in the Bay of Cádiz. The Puerto de Santa Maria was founded in 1000 BCE by the Phoenicians, then taken over by the Romans and used as a customs station. It grew to great prominence in the 17th century when Cadiz was the customs port for the riches from “ the Indies.” Many prominent Spanish families lived here. We also visited the “Castillo of San Marcos” which was first a Roman Fort, then an Arab mosque and stronghold. When the Christians conquered this region, Alfonso X covered the mosque to avoid it being destroyed as it was truly a work of art. Thanks to him, it is now intact and can be seen today.
We ended our evening by attending a local Flamenco show. The students were mesmerized by the incredible dancing, singing and guitar playing of this “Peña.” Rivers students were asked to dance on stage with the troupe and they happily participated. After this session, a few of our students stayed behind to interview the dancer and guitar player for their IDS project. What a night!