Some facts about Cartagena (pronounced Carta-hay-na),
It was founded in 1533 and served as in important trading port. It was subject to attacks and invasions by conquistadores and pirates and as a result part of the city is well fortified and known as “La Ciudad Amurallada, the walled city” or the Old Town.
Cartagena is a large city and soaring sky-scrapers, mostly residential, greeted us as we entered the port and docked alongside Norwegian Sun. It was like greeting an old friend because we had sailed on her from Buenos Aires, round Cape Horn to Santiago a few years ago.
We had a tour organised today – “City Views with Carriage Ride”. We began with a view of the impressive military fort of San Felipe de Barajas.
|The military fort|
|The national dress.|
From here our bus took us to our waiting horse drawn carriages that took us for a 30 minute ride through the narrow streets of the walled city. We passed colonial houses, town squares, and the beautiful Baroque door of the Inquisition Palace.
|The narrow streets of the Old Town|
|Our horse drawn carriages made a gently clip-clop through the narrow streets. It was a lovely soothing ride but very warm.|
We stopped at the old dungeons within the walled city ramparts, built to store provisions for troops, but now home to a high quality market.
We rejoined our bus and continued along the beachfront passing brightly coloured painted homes that are so very unique to South America.
|The beach cabanas are for hire and I don't think I saw an empty one.|
|Our tour bus and driver|
|I love the colors of the houses|
|And the impressive front doors|
We passed a military school and our tour guide informed us that it is compulsory for all boys to attend one year in military school once they finish school. If they don’t finish school they must stay two years. Girls are also accepted but it is not compulsory for them.
This was our last port of call before we disembark in Miami in three days time and we reflected on just how pleasantly surprised we were with this part of the Americas. The Panama Canal transit was most definitely the highlight but every port we visited had its own uniqueness.
We arrived back at the ship for a late lunch and we skipped dinner this evening as we were just not hungry. We went to the early show, a magician/comedian, who gave us a good belly laugh.