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July 12th 2013
Published: July 12th 2013
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I feel quite disappointed to be moving on from Cartagena today, although I'm also excited about going to a beach town on the north coast of the Region of Murcia. Cartagena has been a very interesting place - f...ull of history from various eras - Punic, Cathaginian, Roman, Moors and Catholic. I have only scraped the tip of the history by concentrating on the Roman history monuments. As I said yesterday the Puerto de Culturas is to be congratulated on their efforts to present the monuments in a way that honours their heritage. The museums are thoughtfully designed, with information boards in Spanish and English (in most anyway). My only gripe would be the lack of tours conducted in English, but I realise that this is an industry in its infancy here and in the future I'm sure that more will be offered.
Last night I went on a tourist boat cruise, the last inclusion in the voucher I had purchased. I'm not good on boats, so with travel sickness bands on, I sat in the open air, concentrating on the horizon, and not thinking about the boat going up and down, and side to side! It was good - doing a circuit of the harbour with commentary in Spanish and English, explaining the various uses of the harbour - as a naval base, a fishing port, a dock for cargo ships and a place for leisure - with beaches and a yacht club.
One of the joys of travelling is the variety of places to eat and the variety of food to try, but there are days when dealing with a menu in another language is just too hard. The owner of the pension had recommended a bodega as having the best tapas - said with a kiss of the finger tips to emphasize! I had gone there on Tuesday night but they did not have an English menu, so I ended up in the Casino Cafeteria/Bar run by a French family. I had 'Pajaro Loco' which means crazy bird. I thought the waiter was referring to me! Great first impression! It was chicken cooked with green peppers and mushrooms - lovely - and served with potatoes and salad. I made room for a 'white lady' dessert - vanilla ice cream covered in hot chocolate sauce and whipped fresh cream. Hang worrying about the cholesterol!
Last night, after the cruise, I went to the bodega, armed with my dictionary. Most of the tapas contained some sort of fish - should I have been surprised? It was called La Fuenta (The Fountain)! An extremely helpful and patient waitress helped me decide on some tapas to try - almonds, salsa and egg on a crisp bread and a tuna pie (lots of other ingredients so not too fishy!). A drink with one tapas cost a whole 1.80 euros!
While waiting for the bodega to reopen - they close after lunch till 7:30 or 8:00pm - I ventured into the Cartagena Crafts Centre. I only planned to waste some time looking around, but the assistant, Antonio, was such a friendly and informative person, that we ended up chatting and I helped with some English words for the various items on sale - like cuff links! I bought a pair of earrings made by a woman in Murcia and we exchanged face book addresses! Thanks Antonia for your great smile and passion for the pieces in the store!
While wandering the streets I've seen some crazy things - the vet visiting at 10:30pm to give the stray white cat an injection; huge rubber trees; dogs tied up to a pot plant while their owner is shopping in Zara; another dog on a balcony guarding the washing; a fisherman with the biggest catch of his life (not sure that he was aware of it though!); police dealing with the driver of a white van; a bronze statue 4m high to the Victims of Terrorism (I thought that he was just checking out his willy!); and shop signs, with their own twisted humour!<a data-ft="{">See More</a>


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