Friday, May 19, 2023

May 3, 2023 – Cartagena, Spain – Mostly Cloudy – 67F

Caught our first sunrise on land this morning as I was having breakfast in the Oceanview Cafe.  We are going off ship today but not early so we can have our normal breakfast.

We met out group in the Celebrity Theater (I should say that this ship has a very orderly staging process for tours) and then headed out to the bus.

We are an easy tour today - "Panoramic Cartagena".  The tour started with a bus ride through the countryside outside of Cartagena proper. The guide, though she tried, was difficult to understand due to her heavy accent, and she didn't really explain what we were seeing along the way.  She did mention one thing - the area around Cartagena was extensively mined (for iron, lead, zinc, and silver) leaving a lunar like landscape.

Just before we got to the stop, we passed through some very nice housing developments and came across a nice golf course, La Manga Golf Club, indicating that some affluent Spaniards live in this area.

Our destination was La Manga, which is east of the city.  

La Manga is on a near lake (with just a narrow opening between the lagoon and the Mediterranean).  Huge hotels line the lake, and it reminded me very much of Mexico.  

There is also an impressive lighthouse at the site, Faro de Cabo Palos.  

We had a chance to walk down near a private little beach (there were a few people sunbathing there) and a ways along the water – it was a perfect place to get pictures of the lake and surroundings.  


After spending about an hour at the lake, the bus headed back to Cartagena.

About five minutes from La Manga, the bus stopped at a real Supermarket for a bathroom break. We bought a 1.5 L bottle of water for the room, which should last us for the remainder of the cruise. 

As we passed through the streets of Cartagena, the guide pointed out the Submarine Peral. 

This submarine was launched in 1888 and was powered completely by electricity.  It had a periscope and one torpedo tube.  It only served for two years.  It has moved around a bit but now, the renovated sub is a fixture near the Cartagena Port.

The bus parked at the foot of the Pedestrian Walkway known as Calle Mayor.  Just past the entrance and to the left is Le Monumento de los Heroes (tribute to Spaniards who lost their lives in the Spanish American War - dedicated in November 1923).  

We've seen this monument on our previous stops in Cartegena.  The Government Building just beyond the start of the walkway

 was where we used to try and get Wi-Fi before global internet on phones became a reality.

While the tour went into the Roman Amphitheater Museum, we walked up most of the street.  Some things had changed since we were here years ago.  Halfway up Calle Mayor, we came to a large plaza - Plaza de San Sebastian. There is a very impressive statue there, monument to Al Procesionistas. The statue is a tribute to the processionists and sports a plaque "Thanks the men and women who make Holy Week Possible". 


There are many restaurants along Calle Mayor including the Cotton Grill American Restaurant.

We checked our their menu, which was mostly hamburgers.

Ellen went looking for a Cartagena magnet and I found a seat in the street.  It was pretty warm at this point.  After about an hour of free time, we met up with the tour and the bus took us across the street to the cruise terminal and the ship.

After lunch, we spent some time up on the Rooftop Garden.  We found a shaded couch and the weather was perfect.  There were people up thee playing pickleball and a soccer game going on the TV.  Fortunately, our couch was far enough away from all that.

Up on the upper decks, you could get a real nice view of the Port and Marina.

We watched the sail away from our room.

Dinner was in the Oceanview Cafe - another head waiter brought us up two Salmon Dinners from the restaurants.  Not as sizzling hot as the last time but pretty good.

Headliners tonight was “Uptown” – three guys doing covers for Motown hits.  We have seen them before and their act was pretty much the same – good choreography and semi OK banter.  We left a bit early as they started to get pretty loud.

We finished off the evening with a little time in Eden listening to the daily version of the Acoustic Duo.

A big walking day:

11146 steps, 512 calories, 4.76 miles

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