So we were having a nice holiday in Spain and Cadiz, a very popular tourist destination was next on our itinerary. So we rented a car in Sevilla, fed the name of our Cadiz hotel in GPS and after driving for a few hours arrived in the hotel,only to realize that we had booked the hotel in the wrong town. We didn’t know that Cadiz was a province and there was also a town with the same name. We ended up in El Puerto de Santa Maria which is also technically in Cadiz.
At first we were shocked but we decided to take it in our stride, think of it as an adventure and enjoy another town. We went for a drive around 5 in the evening to get a feel of the place. Everything was closed and the narrow streets were empty. It felt like we landed in one of the those really small, slow, sleepy towns where nothing moves for days.
We went back to our hotel, which was lovely by the way. It was once a monastery and was full of charm. We went out again in the night to a street just 5 mins walking distance from our hotel and which was recommended to us by the hotel staff. It was like entering a completely different world. It was full of people partying, having dinner and just generally milling about.
We enjoyed a good dinner and since there was nothing else to do in the town, decided to take a ferry to our originally intended place, Cadiz. There was apparently a ferry that took 45 mins to reach there and the dock was right behind our hotel. We left early morning the next day (we got to enjoy a spectacular sunrise), spent the day in Cadiz and retuned to our hotel in the evening. Such an unexpected but fun detour. If we would not have come to the wrong town, we would never had seen a town like El Puerto de Santa Maria, and we would never have got to ride on a ferry on the Bay of Cadiz.
Apparently El Puerto de Santa Maria turned out to be much more than we thought it was. It’s the port from which Columbus sailed on his second voyage to the New World. Also his pilot, Juan de la Cosa, created the first map of the world to include the Coast of the New World in El Puerto in 1500. As they say everything happens for the best. Well almost everything.