Getting There - Aneel's Travelogue

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Cartagena to Granada Granada, Spain, Friday, 08 March 2013 11:10pm

We ended our travels last night in Cartagena, which turns out to be one of the most helpful places that I've ever visited. On multiple occasions, people gave us information, and then ran after us to tell us a detail that they'd forgotten to mention the first time.

Cartagena has a very long history, having once been "New Carthage", and having passed through Carthaginian, Roman, Visigoth, Byzantine, Moorish, and Castillian rule. It has a great museum on the site of the excavation of a Roman era amphitheater that selectively restores parts of the structure to give a sense for how it would have appeared in its heyday and also what the archaeologists found intact. We also visited the site of an old Roman bath and a road site that showed the different levels of a Roman road.

We narrowly missed the opening hours of the Naval Museum, so we set off towards Grenada. The drive along a regional highway took us from the ocean up into beautiful hills, planted with orchards and fields, with dramatic mountains for a backdrop.

Driving in Grenada turned out to be quite tricky. In addition to the usual narrow one-way streets, there's a large section of the city that is off-limits to most traffic. You're allowed to drive a private car in only if you're on your way to a hotel in the particular zone that you're entering. On top of that, there's construction going on that made the suggestions of our GPS useless in many cases. I'm very happy that I have a phone with a data plan, which let me figure out routes in the Maps app independently.

We arrived in time for our scheduled visit to the Nasrid Palaces of the Alhambra. They're spectacularly decorated, and it was great to be able to visit them at night. The lighting brought out the textures of all of the intricate stucco work, and there were many fewer people than during my last visit (in 2000) during the daytime.