Cartagena, Common Sense's winter port, has been inhabited for well over 3000 years. It was the Carthaginians' European home away from home, as the name suggests, and has seen the typical waves of conquest and settlement - Phoenician, Roman, Byzantine, Moorish, Spanish, Fascist - which have left their layers in the landscape and the culture. It has always been a busy seaport and from our slip we can watch the fishing boat harbour, container ships unloading, huge cruise ships blocking the view of the mountains and the comings and goings of Spain's considerable naval fleet including its submarines. It's an interesting place to just sit and watch!
|It's all happening here - Yacht Port Cartagena|
There are remnants of Roman and Carthaginian cities everywhere, including the basements of restaurants and public buildings. An entire Roman theatre was discovered while they were trying to build a cathedral - and now the remains of both sit side by side, overlooking the city. Once you've explored a few of the sites you have a sense of a whole ancient world buried beneath the streets.
|What lies beneath the city?|
Cartagena offers a lot to see and do. We recommend getting a Cartagena Card for about 20 euros. It is usable over nine days and gets you into quite a few attractions, including a bus tour of the city and a cruise on the harbour. There is quite a good naval museum, but its main attraction is housed in an outside annexe and is easy to miss: the first fully functional, navigable submarine, designed by Isaac Peral of Cartagena and launched in 1888. It is a surprisingly modern-looking vessel.