We left Barcelona wanting more. It is a majestic city with incredible architecture and expansive boulevards that welcome pedestrians as much as autmobiles and motor scooters. But when Tuesday rolled around, if we weren’t on the ship, it would leave without us. So, as that well-worn cliche goes, we bid a fond farewell to Barcelona and boarded Celebrity Cruise Line’s Equinox (the red arrow points out our room on the starboard bow). First stop, Cartagena. We’ll cover the ship later in the week.
Cartagena is an historic city on Spain’s southestern coastline that dates back to the Roman Empire, some of which remains in its original location and elsewhere in a museum. Cartagena has always been primo territory as a defensive military site. Even today it serves as host for a major base for the Spanish Navy.
Like many ports of call for the cruise ship industry, Cartagena features the usual ingredients: dockage within walking distance of cab and bus stands, shopping, restaurants and other tourist attractions. If you’re lucky, there may even be something interesting to look at. In downtown Cartagena, where we visited, it’s the old city hall, an old hotel now a bank and the narrow streets lined with shops and restaurants…as follows.
Above is the port of Cartagena. The picture represents about 1/3 the length of the port. Below in two shots is Cartagena’s old City Hall, aka the Palacio Consistorial. It was build in the early 1900s. I would have guessed earlier.
The Gran Hotel (right,) is indeed grand despite the fact that you can no longer check in, although you can make a deposit or withdrawal at the bank that now occupies the lobby. Meanwhile, you can bypass the bank and spend your money wandering the narrow streets where you will find plenty of things to buy…and eat.
And Finally, two randomly placed sculptures caught my eye. I liked the boy with squirting fish, a more refined version than those that usually has the young man peeing. Then, I ran into this sailor who obviously was just arriving home from a long stint a sea. I couldn’t help but point out the new polished pavers that now line the walkways.