In my visit to Cartagena I had no idea about what meant a submarine in display facing the harbour. Afterwards I read that it was a prototipe conceived by Isaac Peral in 1885, propelled by electric energy. It failed some tests and didn't reach the needed autonomy, the project being abandoned. The sub was forgotten until 1965, when the naval commander decided to expose it in front of the submarine base.
Hard works were trying to enrich the already recovered Roman theatre discovered in 1987. Dating from the first century A.D., and together with the theatre in Mérida, is one of the most important in Spain, but they want more. Good idea, but is it possible to understand the whole complex?
I am only just learning how diverse the area is. It's a harsh environment where the local wildlife and fauna has learnt to adapt. Many migrating birds stop off and make it their temporary home.
Take a little time to research the area and visit the many areas local to Cartagena to watch and marvel in nature.
There are lots of 'strongholds' from the wars scattered around the coast around Cartagena. It is a city that has always been proud of it's defenses. Take time to visit the many sites which are not really promoted in the tourist guides. Tourist information should give you locations. For me to describe where they all are would only confuse you. Google Earth is a good way to find them as people gradually add pictures. I like the ones on the road out to Mazzaron. Takes about 45 mins to get there from Cartagena. They say they could fire 35kms in anger but were never used. The smell of wee when you go underground can be a little off putting but I guess it's the same in lots of remote places. Well worth a visit but beware the drive, it can be a little stressful with the wife and kids telling you how to drive :)
Cartagena was built from the riches of it's surrounding hills. Mining of many precious metals made it a very important area to many over the years. Now the town of La Union is trying to show the past by opening an old mine. Well worth a visit. make sure you book if you need and english tour.
It might seem surprising to recommend the visit of supermarkets in order to learn about a country ! However, it is everyday life of the people and often supermarkets have interesting local products departments. For regular travelers, it is "off the beaten path" ! In Cartagena, we have visited both Eroski and Carrefour. Both are worth the visit and have an extensive "jàmon" (ham) department. Look at photos. Eroski has an extensive "products of our land" department that makes it the best choice.
On the picture, the reverse of Eroski receipt. The warning is written in 4 spanish languages : Castellano ("Spanish"), Catalan, Basque and
There are two main covered markets in Cartagena. The "mercado Santa Florentina" is worth the visit, even if you don't buy anything, which would be a real Tantalus torment ! Pictures are shown under "buon apetito".
The oldest church in Cartagena gives name to one of the most vivid squares in town, day and night. There is a legend about the church and the devil, but... I leaave it to your tourist guide.
On a quiet beach 5 mins from the Port you can relax and listen to the waves. I slept for an hour, woke refreshed ready for the rest of the day.