Over the last couple of days we have taken the opportunity to have a look around the city and don't worry, I have been warned that if I talk about the weather then I am being thrown overboard. So, just to get it out of the way;
Saturday - Hot and Sunny
Sunday - Rain, Cloudy but turned Hot and Sunny.
Right, I've got that out of my system.......Tee Hee Hee
By way of a background, the city is some 1,000 years old where "Hannibal" and "Escipion the African"battled all those years ago. The Romans had their influence here and St James the Great is said to have brought christianity to Spain from Palestine. At the other end of history, Cartagena's republicans held out for months against Madrid during the Civil War in 1936 and much evidence of this can be seen walking around.
Saturday was a relaxed day. We walked the main high street and the promenade outside of the marina. The harbour is a major naval port and submarine base so there are many references to the navy around the city.
A prototype submarine on the main front prominade. Not sure I'd want to go down in that old tub.!!! Love the up and down propellers as well as the forward and reverse.
View of Cartagena promenade looking south at the entrance to the harbour through the breakwater. There is a nice use of modern art around the city. Note the big bronze boy!!!
We found the best way to get around the town was by the good old tourist bus especially when it was only €4 each. It was quite a short ride, about 90 mins and of course, we had to do it in the rain. Still, at least it was cooler in the morning.
Cathy & Charlie besides themselves with excitement at going on the big red tourist bus. I see Charlie has already turned native and has developed a naval salute.
The bus took as through the old naval quarters, into the main development area and then over to the old historic centre where there were many examples of the previous city leaders. Some of the pictures can been seen below;
Remnants of the Moorish Castle.
Cartagena also loves it's water features. There were several fountains around the city.
The City Offices.
Main Street, well actually it was called "Calle Mayor".
In the foreground is a very early example of an autopsy room with the remnants of the historic bull ring in the background.
The main event of the tour had to be the preserved amphitheatre. They had cleverly built a tunnel under the town which brought you out in the middle of the ancient site. The tunnel acted as a time tunnel with information as to what had become of the amphithreatre over the 2,000 odd years since it was built.
Very early Roman amphitheatre.
Looking at the stage. Whilst there a number of Spaniards had taken the opportunity to stand and sing opera - all quite good actually!!!!
We'd arrived in town at the time of quite a big NATO exercise so the harbour had some very unusual ships in port. It turned out that they were going to sink a submarine with a crew on board and the military had to go out, find them and then rescue them. The odd looking ships around were all sub-contracted marine research type ships with some very expensive looking deep water submarines - those that you'd see on a Discovery Channel program. There was also a lot of high ranking officials in town which may explain the music on Friday night by the navy. As a consequence we were all able to go on board the Spanish navy ship BAA Galithia. Charlie took great delight in exploring.........
"Captain Marky, have we tied this ship up correctly..???????"
Captain Marky, I'm the only one at school without a helicopter on board our boat - can we have one..??????
"Wish my ensign was that big..!!!!!"
AND, of course Sunday was Cathy's birthday. So, it was out of shorts and into long trousers for the first time in a couple of months. However, things didn't quite go to plan. Charlie and I had researched restaurants but on the day, we turned up and the 3 choices were all CLOSED. Oh no........it really was the "all dressed up and no where to go....". Spain and Cartagena was shut tonight - Poor Cathy. Charlie and I were really upset, fortunately, there were strategic reserves on the boat and we managed a Pasta and Lloyds Grossman Tomato Sauce. It was the best......Hmmmmm, don't say anything Cathy..............
Charlie convinced the marina staff to transport Cathy to the front gate - well done Charlie.
All dressed for a birthday dinner but no where to go.!!!!!
However, as a final note, there was one thing that Cathy did want for her birthday and we managed to achieve this for a while........some peace and quiet. I had an idea and managed to achieve this. See below.........