Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Cartagena, Spain

A beautiful beach near Cartagena, Spain.  Look at that Geology!

The view near Cartagena, Spain.  The white coverings are greenhouses for fruit and vegetables. 

Closer view of the vegetable production in Spain and the reason they have so many things to eat here.

They had a kayak fishing tournament out of our marina in Cartagena.  These are serious fishermen and kayakers!

Our neighbors for the day were an Oceana cruise ship.  Wow!

Part of the 3-day parade and celebration in Cartagena, Spain.  Ancient rites gone wild!

Too close to the parade?

Colorful parade as the sun is just setting and they are getting ready to party!  Nothing much happens during daylight here.

It is getting late now and the spears are getting ready to be chucked!

A little eerie don't you think?

Even later at night!

The Carthaginians on their way to victory, even though historically they lost to the Romans! 

The finale for the parade, flares and bacchanal in the streets!

Enjoying the 7 day sail to Spain!  Captain Steve says, "we need wind to sail or we will run out of fuel"!

We made it to the marina in Cartagena, Spain.  Wow!

Frozen yogurt on the street.  Yum Yum!

Tapas following dessert.  What could be better than that?!?

The entrance to Cartagena, Spain is in the distance.  It was a long sail!

S/Y Aspen – October 1, 2013 – Log #108
Aspen Position: 37 degrees 35’ N  000 degrees 59’ E (UTC +2 Hours)

No, not Cartagena, Colombia, South America (Cartagena de Indias)!  We didn't get that lost yet!!

Cartagena is a huge naval port for Spain these days.  They have a great marina, a nice city to walk around in, and friendly people, most of whom don't speak much English.

Our Spanish is pretty rusty and we tend to speak with a Venezuelan accent anyway I guess.  Tourism is not one of the major economies for the city so that is a pleasant surprise! 

Cartagena has been occupied for more than 3,000 years, including about 200 BC when Hannibal, probably the greatest military commander in history, and his army got ready to lead the elephants over the Pyenees and Alps from Cartagena to conquer Italy.  Eventually Hannibal was defeated by the Romans who used Hanhibal's own tactics to beat him a few years later!

Then the Roman's then took control of Cartagena and Julius Ceasar himself established the town with all Roman rights in 209 BC. 

It is great to be in the land of antiquity once again!

There is a huge Fort that looms high above the marina and keeps watch over Aspen.

The time zone in Spain is interesting.  Spain is the same time as Italy.  This is like Los Angeles having the same time as Chicago.  So the sun doesn't rise here until 8 AM!  The streets are deserted and no one does anything until well after 9 AM.  Geeeze.

Why doesn't Spain change their clocks since their time should be the same as in England?  That is simple.  Spain hates England!  Really.  The Spanish and British fought wars for centuries and that mentality carries over to the modern era.  It seems that England also sunk nearly the entire Spanish fleet way back then so that doesn't make them friends either.  In one Spanish magazine they actually refer to the Brits as sexually repressed drunken royalty.  Oh my!  So Spain refuses to be on the same time zone as England and will greet the rising sun on their own terms, not British terms!!  See what you have learned?!?

Lucky us, we arrived just in time for a 4 day holiday.  The celebration is to commemorate the fighting between the Carthaginians and the Romans.  Nearly the entire town of 200,000 people dress up in ancient Carthaginian attire with swords, daggers, spears, shields, fur loin clothes and the exact clothing from so long ago.  They then parade through the streets shooting fireworks, throwing spears, spitting fire and have a grand time.  Free wine is dispensed from carts that are part of each group's entourage and offered to the spectators!

We watched the parade for over 2 hours through the streets of Cartagena.  It was quite a sight as you can see from our photos!

Now it is time to nourish ourselves with Spanish tapas for our meals and get ready for the sails ahead.

Sail on, sail on and sail safe Aspen...

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