Anything But Paella

Cruising in Cartagena Bay

Cartagena has many wonderful museums and ancient sites to explore. The only problem is that at the moment the weather is just too good to spend time indoors!


So, after wandering the streets for a while and cooling down with a drink outside one of the many bars, what can you do? Well, take a ride aboard the tourist boat which takes you on a whistlestop tour of the bay in just under an hour. Just grab a ticket from the booth on the harbour front and jump on the next departure which should leave promptly on the hour.


As the boat goes around the bay there is an informative audio commentary. It’s pretty good if your Spanish is up to scratch, but if you have to wait for the English translation then you might be facing away from what is being described by the time you hear it. That was about the only downside to the whole experience aside from having the misfortune to be on a tour with about 15 three-year-olds and their accompanying families!!


As you travel around the bay it is amazing to learn just how many fortifications there are. Some are obvious while others are rather well hidden. There are two archways in the side of a hill which look as though they should be secretive submarine bases. That is in fact exactly what they were designed to be, but they were never completed! They ended up being used just for storage.


It is possible to get off at the Fuerte de Navidad (why oh why did they translate it? The Christmas Fort just doesn’t sound the same!) and spend an hour exploring there while you wait for the next boat. It looks worth a visit but next time we will probably drive round to it rather than getting the boat.


To get your land legs back after the tour, a stroll around the harbour area is in order. There are some excellent sculptures to ponder including a whale’s tail and an enormous man who looks deep in concentration sat on the ground.


If you want to go to the museums too, here are a links to the ones we will be going back to Cartagena for:

The Roman Amphitheater – in fact, you can get a multiple entry ticket to visit several of the archaeological sites.

The Naval Museum – inside you can see the Isaac Peral submarine which was moved there a few years ago.

The Military Museum

Civil War Air Raid Shelter

The Underwater Archaeology Museum


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