Day 101 of 111. Cadiz, Spain
After our overland trip to Madrid, we met the ship in Cadiz on the west coast of Spain in the early afternoon. We had a few hours to explore the town which was within walking distance of the port. We visited Cadiz on Holy Saturday. In this predominantly Catholic country, the days before Easter feature processions, so there were many balconies decorated with deep red cloth banners and several of the city streets contained boxes for seats or at least chairs lining the sidewalks. Looking down the fountain in one of the city squares, we could see the cathedral where the processions began and ended.
As today is the Saturday after Good Friday, the procession here in Cadiz was very short. It began at 3:00 pm and processed on various city streets where it arrived at the cathedral at about 4:00 pm where we saw it. It was lead by a local Naval Cadet band, followed by the “pilgrims” in their multicolored robes as penitents. Next came the huge silver cross. Notice the cross-bearer is barefoot! Then we saw the main float which was a silver and glass casket containing the crucified body of Christ. A couple of the local school girls carried cushions with replicas of the crown of thorns and nails. They were followed by various officials walking in the parade, and finally the float of the Virgin Mary. Notice the feet showing under the float. There were probably 40 people or more carrying the float on their shoulders for the whole time. And did I mention, it was in the mid 80s outside. Who knows how hot it got under the float. Once the procession passed us, it proceeded to enter the Cathedral through the large front doors.