Date: *24th May 2016
- Weather:* Warm and sunny, with some cloud, no wind 23c
- Latitude: *37 degs 35.7 mins N* Longitude:* 000 degs 59.0 mins W
Cartagena, with a population of 200,000 it has a port and naval base on the Costa Calida ( Warm Coast) of the Mediterranean Sea in south eastern Spain. It has a magnificent harbour and a very long history. Mountains surround the city and is part of the province and autonomous community of Murcia which is one of the driest parts of Spain. Alicante is 68 miles to the north and Almeria is 150 miles to the southwest. I mentioned history just now, all the major ancient Mediterranean civilizations have made their claim here at some time or other, and as the town name suggest the Carthaginians were here, and Hannibal, he of the elephants crossing the Alps fame, made his base here before setting off on his journey to Rome .
This port is just the tonic you need after the big cities, for us it was latish breakfast, then it was out on the top deck to re-acquaint ourselves with the layout of the port, as we`ve been here before. Everything we can see is modern, our berth, the quayside with its palms, two marinas and a promenade , but there is an old fort on a near hillside.
One great thing about this port is the comfort of walking about, all of the towns pedestrianized streets are paved with either granite, marble or slate, I don`t which but are excellent and so clean. Up passed the marinas and the palms you first come to a small park with palms and a monument , then some magnificent buildings I think it`s their town hall. Near bye there are the remains of a Roman theatre which has been excavated, along with other Roman ruins. The pedestrian streets are full of the café culture making for a good atmosphere. The towns shops seemed to be mostly independent outlets with some national chain stores, and speaking to some of our fellow passengers, and from what we noticed ourselves that the prices are cheap compare to the other places we`ve been on this trip.
As you walk along, you have look up and see the top parts of the buildings. You`ll notice the apartments along the street some painted different colours, and lots with small wrought iron balconies, all very Spanish, as we`ve seen the likes of them in Cadiz and La Corunna. In the middle of the main street is a fine building with ornate stonework, street level it is a bank, but there markings on it that it was or still is an hotel.
So having reached the end of the pedestrian area we about turned and it was a slow amble back through the cafes looking for either a place to have a drink or an ice-cream and do some people watching, we settled for the second option an ice-cream.
So it was back to the ship, some late lunch, and a relax on-board before we watched sail- away out into the Mediterranean. Always a sad point when you`ve no more ports to visit, but we still had days at sea before we reach our home port of Southampton.
So I`ll say goodbye for now, and hope you`ve enjoyed following us on our little journey.