Recharging the Creative Batteries in Cadiz and Madrid

Last week, I took a train trip to Cadiz and Madrid because I’ve never spent any time in those cities and I love long train trips, especially in Spain, where the trains are fast, comfortable and cheap. I was hoping I’d be able to finish Don Quixote, but I’m still a couple of hundred pages short. I was reminded of this nearly everywhere I went in Madrid.


Cadiz is a sweet little place in Southern Spain. Being Andalucian, I found it very hard to understand people (as they say, they eat the ends of their words), but they were friendly enough when you got away from the more touristy bars.

One of the best attractions is a camera obscura, housed in one of the towers that the merchants used to use to monitor the comings and goings of their ships. You can’t take pictures, but you get a great 20 minute show of the town from above.

I dropped in to Cadiz Museum for an hour and I wish I’d allowed myself more time, because the displays of Phoenecian and Roman finds were fascinating.

Madrid was a lot more enjoyable than I expected (I’m not a huge fan of big cities). Partly because I made the most of the museums that have free openings at certain times.

Though Prado and Thyssen-Bornemisza are stuffed with the greatest hits of art, my favourite was the little Joaquin Sorolla museum. I love his painting, but I also loved seeing all of his painting ephemera and the house and gardens.

Now I’m back to work and feeling inspired.

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