Time ago the New York Times spoke about some wonders of Cádiz, a province located in the south of Spain (or in the very south of Europe, to be more accurate) and, although there are some reviews of places where you can go and dishes you should taste, it is huge the amount of beautiful spots of which you can only hear about if you ask local people for recommendations.
This is why I’m not going to tell you about the cathedral or the “Gran Teatro Falla”. I’m sure you can find all information you want googling it. I’m going to talk you about corners where you will relish as a gaditano (you know, people from Cádiz).
Thus, fortunate for being a local one, I would like to share my delightful experiences with you, so that, in case that you want to visit this wonderful province or maybe to retire here (as lot of people do), you will be able to truly enjoy this, as the andalusians, we, do.
Today I want to talk of the Marambay environmental complex.
The Marambay complex is located in the isthmus which connect Cádiz city with the nearby city of San Fernando. This is in the middle of the protected natural park of the Cádiz Bay which covers almost 10 000 hectares of marshes.
This complex has been built in an ancient tide mill which was used, as you can imagine, to mill the grain. Here, the vast majority of the marshes were employed for the production of salt in extensions of what we call salinas, a complex system of long rectangular holes and gates to control the water flow.
These natural factories has been here for almost three thousand years, being fenicians the people who first had this great idea for salt production. More or less a century ago these salinas stopped being profitable due to industrialized competition and since then, local people has begun using them as fish farms and, like Marambay, for the leisure in the natural park of the bay.
The Marambay restaurant is a nice establishment with tables inside and outside the building , with great separation between them due to the current situation. If you take a sit outside, you will enjoy the beautiful view of the bay and the fresh breeze from the sea, wherever it comes from, as you will be surrounded by the ocean in this isthmus.
The menu is made essentially of typical local dishes with good prices. If you haven’t been here, I would tell you that in Spain the average prices are low compared to them in the United States, Great Britain or Germany.
Here are my recommendations (usually, most of them cannot be found out of the province, difficult even in Spain):
- Tortillitas de camarones. Flour, parsley, chives and a local species of little prawns, fried. The original receipt was invented in San Fernando city. Each of them for 1'60€.
- Revuelto de salicornia. Scrambled eggs with garlic and salicornia, a plant which grows in the marshes between the salinas. They live the half of they lifetime under salty water. Widely used here. Less than 9€ per plate.
- Chicharrón Atún. The original typical dish is the so-called chicharrones and this is a variant which has become very popular these days. About 9€ per plate.
After the lunch, you can take a drink and get your feet into the fresh water of the salty bay water (filled and empty with the tides) where the kids can swim if they want to. There are also small boats for them to sail.
This complex is in process of expansion, sport activities like kayak or even to fish your own meal will be soon fantastic experiences to complement the day.
This is all about Marambay, the first of the charming Cádiz hidden places. I hope you like it and, for sure, please, let me know your thoughts, questions or petitions for future posts.
Un abrazo y hasta la próxima — Juan.