Normal Mediterranean service was resumed today and a jolly good job too. The sun shone the way it's supposed to. The clouds buggered off somewhere else. It was too hot. The sea was dead flat. There was no wind (other than the Mr Tilson variety!) So all was well with the world again.
Earlier in this cruise, one passenger had moaned that at every port there was another Roman ruin to look at. Well Cartagena certainly kept up the formula. And what a ruin it was. Only discovered in 1985, there is a fantastic Roman theatre here and you can clamber all over it. Not too surprisingly Richard did the clambering while I sat on a shaded step high up the sides. It's the only Roman ruin I've ever managed to get to the top of ... by escalator! The people here are so proud of their discovery that they've built a brand new museum on the site including escalators and lifts. It sounds weird but it made it very accessible. I'd love it if this idea caught on elsewhere - maybe a travelator along the Great Wall of China or a monorail to the top of the Eiffel Tower. It could revolutionise tourism!
We also did the ubiquitous open bus tour of the city today but it wasn't the best of bus trips. There is just one bus that leaves the port every hour but it holds about 50 people which isn't exactly fully geared up to the meet the needs of a cruise ship with over 2,000 people! Match that concept with what must be the winner of the most boring tourism commentary award and you've got the Cartegena Bus Trip in a nutshell. The open top bit of the bus was full by the time we got on so we sat in the very hot closed bit with no air conditioning being droned at by a boring commentary through bright green headphones that hurt your ears. Oh well, at least it was cheap ... but it needed to be!
But the triumph of the day was in discovering the special coffee we had read about yesterday. The Asiatico was a wonderful confection of layers of condensed milk, very strong coffee, cream, a stiff shot of Brandy and a wonderful whiff of cinnamon. Not exactly on the diabetic plan but a blinking nice trip off it1
Tomorrow is foodie heaven as all the restaurants on the ship work together to provide brunch. Our Maitre D' tonight was telling us that it is the culinary highlight of the cruise with things like Fillet Mignon on the menu. It will be back to beans on toast next week so I reckon we'll give brunch a go. And we were given a peek at tomorrow evening's menu and know we have soft shell crab and lobster to look forward to for dinner tomorrow night so I think we'd better plan some swimming during the day to earn the right to eat so nicely!
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