We decided to go into Cartagena by bus today as the weather was good. We have been meaning to go for a while now the weather has not been brilliant.
We got to the bus stop just outside the camp gates a ready to get the 10:20am bus. There were 2 other people waiting with us and by the time 10:35 came I was getting fed up and thinking of going back to the van but Angela said to give it a few more minutes. 5 minutes later I set off to enquire at the reception if there was any reason why the buses were not on time but no sooner as I got there the other couple at the bus stop began to call us saying that the bus was coming so we went straight back and got on the bus as planned albeit thirty minutes late. Angela has been learning her Spanish so promptly asked the driver for 2 returns to Cartagena only to be told you can only buy a one way ticket and then when at the bus station in Cartagena you then buy your return but have to specify the time which seems an odd way to do it. The fare was 2.20 each in and 2.30 back and for your information the bus was late coming back also………….at least they are consistent!
As we had been there before we knew where we wanted to go so set off from the bus station and headed for the centre following the walled ramparts built on the order of Charles the 3rd. The walls were a fundamental piece in the defensive plan of the Arsenal and the military headquarters of Cartagena.
It was noticeably quieter than when we were last here 2 years ago and for quite a large city is was surprising.
After a good walk around the tourist route and a lovely indoor market we stumbled across we decided to have some lunch as we did not have to catch the bus until 3:15pm.
We were passing a restaurant called Columbus which I remember last time we were here as the same waiter was there tempting passers by with their lovely menu del dia.
He spoke very good English and explained the specials for the day and as Angela does not like shellfish he explained that we could have the meat Paella with a starter and pudding for thirty euros. We decided to give it a go and went inside.
We sat down and ordered a drink while watching a lovely old man working away singing and humming to himself. It was a really nice atmosphere and on looking around seemed spotlessly clean. They obviously took pride in their establishment.
Our starter of tuna salad with bread arrived followed by fried squid in a delicate batter served with a great wedge of the most amazing lemons you’ve ever smelled or tasted. This was cleared away for the main event, a beautiful looking and even better smelling meat (Chicken & Beef) Paella. The waiter, rather than just put it down on the table actually presented it to you which was another nice touch we thought. It was garnished again with the amazing lemons.
After clearing the dish of every last grain of rice we ordered a pudding which I think was a house speciality and very similar our to bread and butter pudding followed by 2 coffees.
We settled the bill and were about to leave when our waiter called out across the restaurant for us to sit back down! He walked over to the freezer and took out 2 frozen glasses into which he poured a very pink liquid which was on the house and he told us it was fuel from his car!
I was not too alarmed by this as I saw him do it to another couple as they were leaving.
As we got outside we decided to take a picture and the waiter came out and took one of us together. Angela found out that his name was Felix and we told him we would be back with our friends when they get out here soon.
We headed back to the station for the bus back to the van and a DVD in bed!