El Puerto De Santa Maria is across the bay from Cadiz. It is low rise (most places less than three storeys), labyrinthine, packed with bars and slightly down-at-heel. Collapsed or crumbling buildings, overgrown with weeds, adjoin smartly renovated hotels or apartments. Specialising in seafood, and boasting a couple of long beaches (by European standards), the place heaves with holidaymakers from northern Europe in the summer season.
But back to the apartment. Why is it that every time a day of travel which requires an early start and three trains to get to – has to end with stairs? Although the apartment is only on the second floor – the building, being old, has very high ceilings. The result being that there are more stairs to climb to reach the apartment here, than the apartment in Caceres which was on the fourth floor.
Why call it a bachelor pad? Well, there was beer in the fridge and coffee in the cupboard…what more do you need? And then there’s the shower – wow – although it should come with operating instructions. Figuring out how to operate the thing so that you don’t get icy jets hitting you most unexpectedly, or a total deluge, was a challenge. Once figured, it is really a lovely indulgence.
As to the rest of the apartment it is light-filled, spacious, renovated throughout (refer to shower and bathroom), with modern furniture, well-appointed (proper wine glasses, a sharp knife, a wok) and has a lot of mirrors.