I am a native in this world And think in it as a native thinks

Thursday, April 7, 2011


The available excursions for Cartagena made it sound like the least interesting city in Spain, and the guide for the excursion I finally picked didn't do much to dispel that idea.

We were going to Elche, home of the largest palm forest in Europe, about an hour north of Cartagena, and Guillermo spent most of the ride there describing the area with all the charm of a fourth-grade geography textbook.

In addition to palm trees, Elche is known for its shoe factories....These fields are famous for almonds and oranges....There are silver mines in those mountains....That lake is salt water.

Even for an audience so desperate to get off the ship we would have welcomed an excursion to the shoe factories, it was a little dry.

I was surprised to learn from my fellow travellers that Cartagena was a lot more interesting than I realized. It was originally settled by Carthaginians, who named it New Carthage, and was the birthplace of Hannibal. Those very same silver mines Guillermo had pointed out were where he got the money to buy his elephants. Meanwhile we're learning about avocados and shoe factories.

Admittedly, as he showed when we got to Elche, Guillermo did know a great deal about palm trees. But really -- how can you forget to mention the elephants?

No comments:

Blog Archive