Cartagena is a beautiful city. Talking of beauty, Nigel Freer sent me a photo of Linda that he took yesterday when we met in Malaga, with Queen Elizabeth in the background. Lovely.
Today in Cartagena it was raining for a time as we were preparing to leave the ship, but by the time we were ashore the skies had cleared.
There is a marina between the berth and the city.
As we walked from the ship around the marina, I remembered that on the last occasion we were here Tim and Jean Whitehead were on the same cruise. I can’t recall whether we met them on that trip or on an earlier one.
I think we first met when the 4 of us were invited to sit at the Captains table. Deputy Captain Simon Love was the host. Incidentally he is now Captain of P&O’s Aurora. I hope that in time he comes back to Cunard. Tim and Jean had big Southampton connections. Jean grew up in Southampton and we discovered that Jane and Jean had both played lacrosse for Southampton ladies. Tim was a Southampton University alumni as was I some years before him.
As usual I have digressed. We crossed the marina and recognised the entrance to the main street. The city is very pretty and the streets are narrow, the architecture classic and the coffee shops appealing.
But first it was a visit to the excavated Roman Theatre. The entrance to it is in the Town Hall Square. You walk into the new exhibition space and the theatre’s museum and from there you take an underground passage to the Roman Theatre. It is very impressive.
It was then time for coffee. Usually coffee on the ship means suduko. While battling the latest one I mentioned that I had hardly slept last night. Kim said she wasn’t surprised because yesterday, after finding a double espresso for the first time on the ship, I had one at breakfast, one in the Toro restaurant waiting for the Freers, one after lunch and one after dinner. Yes, that would explain the tossing and turning. One double espresso a day in future.
Last night after dinner I spotted Raj who had been our waiter on a previous cruise. Amazingly he remembered us, which ship we were on and where she had cruised. I asked him how he had coped during Cunard’s ‘pause’. He said that after being flown home he took a month long course in teaching on Zoom and found himself a job teaching schoolchildren geography. He said that the pay was poor but it kept him out of mischief!
We toured the backstreets of Cartagena, ensuring that Jane didn’t spot too many fashion shops. In fact there were very few open. It was clear that many retail outlets were permanently closed as a result of covid. We then made our way back to the ship.