Saturday, November 27, 2010

Holiday – Day 8: Cartagena

Well, here we are, it’s 7.45am and we’re just slipping into the port of Cartagena. Until we booked the cruise, I hadn’t heard of it, as part of the itinery of cruise-ports. So, for people like me, here are the headlines – It’s a Mediterranean city and naval station, located in the Region of Murcia, south-eastern Spain. It’s for around 200k inhabitants making it the second largest city in the region.

Our plan is to grab breakfast and then go ashore, having never been here before. The weather is a bit overcast, so my guess is that the photos won’t be stunning, but at least it’ll be a record of what the place looks like.

12.15: It was well-worth the short walk from the ship into Cartagena. We weren’t quite sure what to expect – but what we found was a real gem. It an old town and there is plenty of evidence of shed loads of money being spent on it. It was so clean too – not something we’ve always seen in Spanish towns. The fact that this is a maiden-port for the Ship suggests that currently, this is a location unknown to many cruisers, but I guess in a few years, ALL the cruise companies will have it on their list.
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They’ve combined some tasteful renovation with some very posh looking shops as well as quite a few places to eat and drink. Even though the weather was very dull, wet and cold, Cartagena was a beautiful place to look round – in the Summer, it would be even better!

The 'Golden Lion' Pub12.40: Enough of all this culture! Time for fish and chips in the ‘Golden Lion’ pub on-board. Better still, they also have our favourite cider on draught too – Aspall

13.15: A great lunch – the only thing that detracted from the authenticity of the pub was there was a waitress service and no beer mats!


Just time to catch one of the in-room movies: The Da Vinci Code.

15.30:
One of the rituals when cruising is afternoon tea. It’s all a bit OTT – waiters in white gloves, sandwiches without crusts, and on this cruise, a string quartet to maintain the character and ambience of times-gone-by. 

The ritual that is 'Afternoon Tea'
 









Eeek! We just heard the Captain announce that we’re likely to run into a Force 8 storm during the next 240 mile leg of the cruise!

On the plus-side, tomorrow is Gibraltar and time to appreciate the culture of this diverse port look for duty-free bargains!

19.00: We’re off to the themed Indian-Buffet. It was superb!!!! Great food and imaginatively presented.

20.30: Now it’s the Theatre to see a performance called Celtic Heartbeat. We thought this would be mostly Irish-dance (which we were looking forward to), but it turned out to be more fah-la-lah than diddly-dee – except in the final five minutes, which was all diddly-dee (if you get my drift!). First hour = boring, final five minutes = superb!

21.30: We’re such party-animals tonight!!! After the luck of the Irish, we headed along the corridor and back to the 40s for a big-band evening. Great music, great sound and a great big male lead singer, - 7 feet tall!

22.15: OK that’s it, we’re off to the on-board ship for some rope, so we can strap ourselves to the mast in preparation for the storm tonight! ooo-errr Cap’n!!!

Night-night!!!
 

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