A castle in the air

Lady Stardust Faro-Portugal to Barcelona - 2010
Paul Collister
Sun 8 Aug 2010 22:45

POS 37:35.834N 0:58.794W

Sunday 8th August


Boat repair jobs and other chores this morning and then into town for more of the delicious tapas at El Barril del Tapo. We ordered and ate far more than we intended to but they were great. 

 Cartegena suffered badly in the Spanish Civil War and a museum at Calle Gisbert shows the air raid shelters that were excavated into the side of a hill to protect the civilian population from air attacks.  Alicante and Cartegena were the only to places to remain loyal to the government when the civil war began and as Cartegena was the Republican Fleet’s centre of operation it was a prime target for attack – the aim being to destroy the morale of the people.  The shelter we visited could hold 5,500 people and to get to it you have to go up a lift.  Described as ‘ascensor panoramico’ it is a cylindrical, see-through, vertigo-inducing lift and when you step out, you can walk along a narrow viewing platform with a see-through floor and a sheer drop below for views across the town.  Paul was quite freaked out by it (ed. was not). 


The museum and tunnels were really interesting and has inspired me to learn more about the Spanish Civil War. The usual information signs and photos explained the background and history while video footage of the period showed the bombings and people describing their experiences.  Higher up the hill was the Castle of the Conception which was in beautiful grounds complete with peacocks strutting around.  One of these got its head stuck in a waste bin and had to be pulled out by a man – after which it stood and shook loads of its feathers out as if protesting at the humiliation.  It was so funny considering peacocks’ reputation for pride and vanity. 

This evening we relaxed by planning future stages of the journey and making use of the internet while we have it.  Mar Menor tomorrow, a six hour passage.