Thursday, October 5, 2017

Cartagena, Colombia, October 5, 2017

I was up at 5, enjoying coffee in my little cubicle!  I wandered around a couple hours - before the tourists appeared.  Cartagena de Indias is beautiful.  At 10, I joined Edgar from for a 2 hour walk.  It was awesome!

Cartagena is a walled city with very few entrances-

The wall is quite thick-

Modern Cartagena looks like any other city-

Street signs are beautiful-

The architecture is awesome-

La Portal de Los Dulces is a "sweets" street under the arches-

Cocadas are a local treat made from coconut and/or piña and of course sugar, lots of it-

Close by is the Monumento Pedro de Heredia.  He founded Cartagena de Indias in 1533-

On the statue is the word Heroica, which is how Colombians call Cartagena because of their bravery after Independence which they won November 11, 1811 from Spain.  However, in 1816, Spain decided it wanted Colombia back, so the Spaniards surrounded the walled city, cutting off supplies going in.  Well, after 105 days, the gates of Cartagena were opened.  Over 6000 had died of starvation.  The leaders of the resistance were executed but before Spain could really gain a foothold, Bolivar was on his way with 12,000 soldiers to help the Colombians.  The Spaniards retreated and Cartagena became known as Heroica.  

Customs Square, also known as Plaza de la Aduana-

is where goods coming into the port were taxed.  I love the church towers!

Across the square is Torre Del Reloj (Clock Tower), another entrance to the city at La Plaza de Los Coches or Carriage Square.  It is where slaves were bought and sold-

The Palacio de la Inquisition is the former home of the Punishment Tribunal of the Holy Office.  People were tortured for heresy.  Inside are torture devices that were used on suspected witches and blasphemers.  The Inquisition ended in 1811.  I hope to visit tomorrow-

It was completed in 1770 and the entrance is considered the greatest work of architecture in Cartagena-

Saint Peter Claver (on the left)-

was a Jesuit Father who worked to free the slaves of Cartagena.

The Sanctuary of Saint Peter Claver 

is in a beautiful square with metal sculptures depicting life in Cartagena.  Tailors-

Domino players-

Listening to music-

And palenqueras, women selling fruit-

Real palenqueras charge money to have their picture taken-

With their gorgeous looking fruit baskets that are only props-

Saint Catherine of Alexandria Cathedral was originally built in 1577 but then destroyed in a pirate attack-

The arches are beautiful-

I am staying on Plaza Santo Domingo-

where "Gertrude" lives.  She's a sculpture by the famous Colombian Fernando Botero-

Looks like me!

Next to Gertrude is the Santo Domingo church-

There are tombs in the floor-

Lunch was ceviche at La Cevicheria.  My waiter was a scoundrel.  He told me the beer I wanted, which was the cheapest, wasn't cold and that the mediano size of ceviche I ordered was very small, really for children.  So, I stuck with the beer but ordered the next size of ceviche.  Believe it or not, the beer was ice cold and I brought half of the ceviche home.  Asshole!

Hors d'oeuvres were potato chips with a honey mustard dipping sauce.  La Cevicheria is supposed to be the best place in the city to eat ceviche but it was only shrimp in a lemon sauce.  Lots of shrimp mind you but not my favorite-

Other interesting food today was all deep fried-

No way am I trying that!  At least not today!

I don't think they want me to sit on these steps-

There is lots to buy on the street-


Bags, blankets, scarves and trinkets-

The doors to many buildings are very interesting.  Slaves used to have to open them and they are gigantic.  Once slavery was abolished in 1851, people added door knockers and cut smaller doors into the large doors-

 The knocker explained who lived in the house.  A lion was for someone in the military or government-

A mermaid meant the habitant was a trader-

A fish was for a fisherman-

A lizard was for aristocracy-

And a hand was for clergy-

Colombia is also where emeralds are mined.  This-

Becomes -



Not sure I need another ring!

Tomorrow I'm moving to Treehouse Hostel where I'll meet the group!  I'm very excited!


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