9 May

When my family were here recently, we headed off to Cartagena one day – it is an easy drive from here, under an hour (so well within my 1 and a half hour boredom threshold in the car!).  You take the toll road and it really is a gorgeous route and you only see a car every 10 minutes or so – I don’t think the Spaniards like paying 13 euros to use this route!

Cartagena is an interesting place – it has been the capital of the Spanish Navy’s Maritime Department of the Mediterraneansince the arrival of the Spanish Bourbons in the 18th Century.  It is still an important naval seaport today.  It was the first of a number of cities called Cartagena and has much to see if you are interested in Roman ruins such as the Theatre of Carthago and the cathedral which was destroyed in the Spanish Civil War and which dates back from the 13th Century to name a couple.

Cartagena has the Peral submarine here that was built by Isaac Peral and was launched in 1888 as one of the first U-Boats.

It holds the distinction of being the Spanish city with the most beaches, i.e. 10!  Like most Spanish cities wandering around the old town behind the port affords pretty good shopping and many places to stop off for a drink and tapa, or a decent lunch to linger over.  All our trips seem to centre on some kind of eating activity, a favourite pastime among the Spanish, and those of us who live here!

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