Day Eleven – Cartagena

Day Eleven.

Cartagena. Last stop. Phew. This many port days in a row is very tiring.

There was another ship in port today, parked next to us. The Riviera. Remember her?!

We took the Luggie buggy ashore today, and mum terrorised the locals. Cartagena has one main street of shops, which is pedestrianised (except for taxis, who can appear from nowhere and run you down, at any moment and from any direction, without so much as a by your leave), with brand new, very flat, smooth tiles on the ground, which were perfect for mum after the rather hilly cobbles of Florence. Beautiful warm, sunny day, blue skies – lovely.  We pootled and shopped and pootled and stopped for coffee/lunch/snacks/loos/tea. Mum bought some tops in Punto Roma, which is her favourite chain, I think. Despite visiting several clothes and shoe shops, all I bought back in the end was some travel miniatures of my favourite moisturiser which were 75p each for 50ml.

We did not visit the Roman ruins today, but some of the Art Nouveau architecture in town was amazing. Very, um, frilly, Talking of which, we had intended to aim for the Gran(d) Hotel, which sounded nice, and looked spectacular from the outside.

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It was recommended both on our tourist map AND in the P&O port guide. Shame it was converted into offices YEARS AGO… >:-(  This is the level of care/competence we face at the hands of P&O. Granted, in this instance, the town map was just as unhelpful, but we trust P&O to at least pretend to check their facts, which, they manifestly do not. In fact, I have made a list of port guide errors on this cruise, which I will submit to the editors on my return home. The Cartagena guide total currently stands at three, but I am expecting to spot more next time I read it.

In the end, we stopped for lunch at a place called the Cotton Grill American Diner on Calle Major (pronounced Car-yay Ma-yor). It’s what the Spanish think an American diner looks like/does, so almost…! I had a gluten-free chicken burger and dad had a smoked salmon club sandwich that was about the same size as his head. It had coleslaw in, as well, so at the end, he didn’t look like he had eaten it, so much as bathed in it. He pronounced it messy but tasty! Mum ordered macaroni cheese. What arrived initially was lukewarm penne with cold grated cheese sprinkled on top. We eventually communicated the concept of grilling, and she was much happier once the cheese had melted.  Everyone really enjoyed their meal, in the end.

At tea, I wrote my last postcard and posted it. I wonder if it will get home before we do? We found an NH hotel, like the one we found earlier in the cruise. We know they both do gluten free AND have lovely loos, so they are an excellent backup resource.

It doesn’t sound like much work/effort, but the above is a summary of about four or five hours of stuff! Time for a nap, methinks.

Lost the quiz on a tie-breaker. Good, we don’t want to have to drink that stuff. Bleurgh. That close is close enough by us. Then straight to bed for an early night. Really need some solid kip. I’m shattered. I may need a holiday to get over the holiday.

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