Larry & Maureen's Travel Adventures travel blog

Skyline coming into Cartagena

Group of heavily armed guys went by yelling Thank You to the...

Lighthouse at the entrance to the harbour


Statue in the bay, tall ship and skyline

"Pirate" ship

Castillo de San Felipe de Barajas

This fortress was used in the movie "Romancing the Stone"

Blas de Lezo - one eye, one arm and one leg -...

Women carrying fruit on their heads

Squatters houses on the way up the mountain to the Monastery

One of 14 crosses on the way up

Cartagena is built on...

five different islands.

Courtyard in La Popa Monastery

Our Lady of the Candle - on February 2 every year she...

Narrow streets with balconied houses

Statue of Simon Bolivar in the Bolivar Square. He attempted to free...

The Cathedral completed in 1600.

Inside the Cathedral - currently being restored

Church of San Pedro Claver

Dancers at the Museum

We arrived in Cartagena, Colombia today at 9 am and were amazed at the skyline coming in. It's quite a big city founded in 1533. Part of the defence system built by the Spanish was a formidable wall around the old part of the city. We went on a four hour bus tour this day that took us to several historical sites including the fortress, a monastery, churches and a city square. Our tour guide was Eddie and he gave us wireless headsets so we could hear him over the noise of the bus. When we stopped at sites, he continually told us to stay together and when it was time to leave he would call out "Eddie Yoohoo" and we'd all come running. It's not a very clean place and there are lots of armed guards everywhere with very big machine guns. There is wealth in lots of areas but in most cases some very poor houses right alongside.

When we disembarked in a port, we were cautioned each time about accepting packages from strangers to bring aboard and that drugs are available and frequently offered. We were also cautioned about eating or drinking ashore. There were always lots of vendors around when we got off the bus and they were quite agressive. The women's whose photo Maureen took with the fruit on her head followed her for quite a way to try to get money for taking her picture.

The bus let us off at a "mall" (questionable), which was mostly jewelry stores. We went over to a liquor store and Maureen was grabbed by the hand and a woman began massaging her hand with some lotion. Maureen was unable to pull her hand away and the woman proceeded to massage the other hand as well as the back of her neck. When the woman went to massage Maureen's calves, she drew the line and said "Enough!!". Then the woman wanted $5 for the massage!

We left this port at 2:30 pm and headed for the Canal.

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