Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Back to the Med: Cartagena

The city of Cartagena Spain was one of the last stops for the ship. Located on the southern Mediterranean coast, it's been a city for two millennium.  The Romans occupied it until around 400 CE, and used it as a port and a regional capital. When the Romans pulled out, the city underwent the same circumstances as much of the rest of Europe: occupied by the Vandals, Visigoths and then the Muslims. To it's credit Cartagena was the main port of the Spanish Republican Navy, fighting Franco in 1939.

It's Roman past comes to importance when in 1995 a construction crew started excavating for a new building and discovered ruins and debris. After extensive digging by archaeologists, this was discovered:

When other excavations were started in other parts of town for other projects, much the same thing was found....Roman ruins. An unfortunate byproduct of this has been that developers have pretty much written off the city for future investments. 

The rest of the city is equally lovely, with the usual accompaniment of piazzas, side streets, open air markets and cafe's with outdoor seating that invite long periods contemplating live over a glass or two of wine. 

One thing I found interesting is the market changes at around noon from this:

To this:

The colorful food stalls are replaced by various clothing and merchandise. I didn't see this in other markets, but perhaps I didn't go at the right time. It all happens within an hour. 

Next post will be the last one about this trip, Gibraltar and Lisboa. 


  1. Enjoyable post. Nice shots, not shoes.


  2. As Steve wrote, nice shots. Beautiful architecture, both ancient and more modern buildings. I found the fruit market shot especially appealing. Produce artfully arranged.

  3. I love the food markets. The best I ever visited was the Viktualienmarkt in downtown Munich.

  4. Looks beautiful--I've been rereading Twain's "An Innocent Abroad" and his travels in the Mediterranean