The sun is shining, the temperature is a balmy 17C and I have found free WiFi outside the Art Institute Building just down the pier from the ship.
We arrived late morning in Cartagena, Spain the origin city for all those Spanish explorers to Columbia as well as the rest of Central and South America. Long blessed with decent weather, a good defensible harbor, Cartagena and its predecessor encampments, towns and cities have long run maritime trade from this sheltered location stating with the Romans, surviving the Phoenicians and other late comers till establishing their own national presence. A major port for the Spanish Navy, it is home to the military submarine fleet. Brad, Chere and I headed off the ship and set out exploring as early as we could. Ok, docking at 1100 is not exactly early.
But first – Guerrilla Musicians.
This group of five young men wove in and out of pedestrian traffic all the while playing through the center of the city. Sometimes jogging, sometimes doubling back on themselves I last saw them taking off across a major street. Their tastes in music ran from classical through modern jazz. All superb players, they obviously weren’t performing as buskers since they never, ever slowed down or stopped to pass a hat.
Marine Archeology Museum.
Museums here are free on Sundays. This one is a combination of static displays, maps and interactive learning stations tracing underwater archeology in the local harbor. Not only are the exhibits great, but they actually go into significant information on current analysis and restoration techniques. Unfortunately for me, no camera allowed and there wasn’t a museum store either. Enough of the exhibit had English side or subtitles that I was pretty much able to follow it. Most of the exhibits covered the Roman Gallies and Phoenician trading ships which had been found. Yes the harbor is sheltered but that does not mean there are not treacherous reefs or resistance to the “trading.”
Cartagena Maritime Museum
Picture taking allowed without flash. Good exhibit of both model ships and the history of the Spanish Navy. Extensive collection relating to the Isaac Peral – both the man and the submarine (first real submarine according to the Spanish) which carries his name.
Discovered in the last couple of decades, there has been extensive archeological excavation as well as some restoration.
The city is amazing from this height. A great side effect was running into friends from last springs Jewel OTS crossing who filled me in on mutual friends. The other benefit frankly was that I could see my way to the ship. When you are on the ground winding your way through a maze of city streets sometimes making sure you know the direction back to the ship can be a challenge. Yes, I had the sun for a guide. I also had my phone with a little direction [N] arrow up at the top. But thinking you know the way and seeing it are two different things.
General City Sights
Knit & Natter
and yes, I am trying to start a knitting/needle group on ship. Have a scarf on the needles.
Local craft store was naturally closed because it was Sunday.