Saturday, April 01, 2017


Walking around the old town in Cartagena is a joy. It is an explosion of colour and of old world charm. It is a World Unesco Cultural Heritage site so it is protected from change. Everywhere we noticed old buildings being restored.  It reminded us of Cuba, but the area is better preserved and cleaner than we noticed in Cuba. 
This is the main entrance into the old city, Cartagena was an area where African slaves were brought to Columbia so the descendants of the city have a lot of African blood in them and it is noticeable in their culture, the colours, the paintings and the dancing. 
We have been enjoying the sculptures and the wall art that we have come across in our wandering. 

The first day we took a tour to some of the historic sites in the area.  They were mostly the walled forts that were built in the 16th century to protect Cartagena from the sea and from the land.  The walls on the fortifications we enormous.
This is the Fort that protected the land and we were able to climb to the top and see the views and hear graphic tales about where all the attackers were killed.  The guides' English was sufficient but his vocabulary was not the best so the fact that they were all kill ed featured in his description several times. 
This was a bottleneck through the wallls and was designed so the soldiers at the top could see down whereas the attackers below could not see up so of course all the attackers were "kill ed".
Our second day wandering around in old town we came upon some Universities. This is the inner courtyard of the University of Cartagena, we think they were having an open house because we were able to wander around the campus and there were displays about the courses offered. 
This building was once a church but now houses a theatre. It was one of the many examples of outstanding architecture in the regions. 
We rested up in a KGB bar that had all sorts of memorabilia from Russia on display.  We spent some time watching the latest May Day parade in Red Square with Putin supervising. Barry was fascinated with the fancy planes that were flown over , I marvelled at the precision of the marching of the soldiers. 
The traffic is horrendous in the old town, the narrow winding streets result in gridlock at any given time.  The common practise of courteous driving has not come to Columbia and they squeeze into what ever lane they wish and bully their way through the traffic.  
When we saw this truck stall on a busy bridge Barry joked that this is what was needed to make your way through the gridlock!! Both the men in the vechicle turned away as I was taking a picture, we were surprised not to be yelled at!! 
The Columbians have four submarines and this one was in full view as it went by Barry as I was off trying to change some money we had left over from Curaçao. We had mistakenly thought that we could use the Curaçao money in Aruba but that was not so, it will be interesting to see where in the world we might be able to change it, they would not do it here.