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Independence of the Seas Cruise – Day 5 – Cartagena

Cartagena was our next port of call, and I woke even more tired then yesterday. The sun glared in my eyes like a hot poker as I stepped off onto the eerily quiet docks. Well, when I say docks-it was one long platform with a barred entrance and a scruffy-looking guard who didn’t say anything. It was almost like we had just docked in a ghost city on Route 66.

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The lovely busy streets of Cartagena with the mayor’s house in the background and an old lady copying the antics of the ‘man on the bench’ on the right

But Cartagena hosts more surprises than you’d expect, and although at first we thought what on earth we were going to spend with the allotted time that we had on land we ended up with too little time on our hands. That probably goes for saying without the couple of hours we used up licking ice creams and smoothies at the wifi café and waiting for my brother Loos to book the train tickets for Toulon to Marseille (you’ll find out later on about our day there), nevertheless I did go out a-looking with my dad and played-and I am not ashamed to say this-hide and seek in the tree shrubbery that grew next to the university which had the same complexion of that of a prison, as well as passing by a lake which smelled of…well, the Chinese countryside, to be blunt.

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The prison university lookalike

After spending long hours in the café (of which I can no longer remember name; to help, you walk down the street past city mayor’s house, and it’s situated in a big square with four roads all leading up to it.

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The ice lemon slushie Loos had at the café, whose name turns out to be the Valor café

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The serving man at the Valor café, taken in black and white

It sits right next to a world class beer shop and the Cartagena Roman museum, so it shouldn’t be too hard to find, we visit the Roman museum mentioned above; the original museum itself is rather small although it’s situated on many floors but I later found out that the ruins were spread out over the city, which, when one stands on top of the ancient amphitheatre suddenly seems to expand by quite a few dozens of miles.

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One of the many pottery works found and collected by the Cartagena Roman museum

The amphitheatre was surrounded by a park and ruined old buildings reduced to husks to make way for the excavation site and it was honestly the first real amphitheatre I have ever seen with my own eyes.

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The amphitheatre in Cartagena (another shot below)

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Of course I saw the Colosseum in Rome later on but it was still a great site.

This wasn’t the only Roman excavation site: they had lots of them scattered about the city, including the Roman forums, baths and some unintelligible rubble on the top of an unfortunately very high hill, as well as an ancient castle which sat upon yet another hill habituated with peacocks and rather sorry-looking ducks which huddled underneath their little ‘bridge’ platform away from the stagnant greenish water.

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Poor little duckies

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One of the two peacocks up on the hill, staring at us inquisitively

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A little pigeon trying to scoff down a piece of bread we threw at it

 As we were coming down we saw a group of people riding on Segways taking the long, winding slope up to the castle which was quite a funny sight.

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The Segway’s (don’t worry, you’ll get to see me on one in Vigo, luckily for me that’s the second last day so we’ve got a long way to go before then)

Coming back down, we headed down to the town centre for a bit of food-fried calamari rings with this tantalizingly delicious cheese sauce with these thinly-cut chips- and a picture with the supposedly ‘headless’ man and a big bear statue before heading back to ship to watch a spectacular ice show, all about a violin.

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Headless man

Bad storyline but great performance all the same.

What pleased me even more was the little daschund dog towel we received on our bed when we got back to our stateroom in the morning. It’s floppy ears fell off by the next day but it was still reasonably cute.

Concludes Day 5 at Cartagena. This one took a while, probably because I was messing around whilst writing it, so might not be as perfected as others. If you spot any mistakes do reply to me pointing them out. Thanks for reading!

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