before you go … CARTAGENA

Located on the southern coast of Spain, Cartagena is one of the best harbours in the western Mediterranean. Founded in 228 BC, it’s no surprise that a lot of Roman construction still exists, including an amphitheater and several roads. Over the years a lot of different people stopped by including the Vikings, the Vandals and Visigoths and others.

Today Cartagena has slightly more than 200,000 people, enough to make it cosmopolitan but rarely crowded. Cruise ships do call, but not in packs overrunning the city.

This is a stylish place where even some of the graffiti (of which there is a lot) is sometimes so artistic it can be mistaken for public art itself.

Food here mostly comes from the sea and is both fresh and excellent. For the adventurous, “asiatico of Asian coffee” might change your outlook on life: this concoction consists of coffee, condensed milk, cognac, liqueur 43 and cinnamon.

Do not miss: The gorgeous 1907 city hall; Isaac Peral’s submarine from the 1880s (it may be on its way to a museum for a rehab); the Roman House of Fortune sits beneath a very modern apartment building and even includes the Roman road that once ran along outside its door; the Roman amphitheater; the panoramic lift adjacent to the Conception castle, and the castle itself, and the Roman Decumanus Road which is carefully preserved under glass.

There’s a lot to see in Cartagena and it’s an amiable scenic place to see it.

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