Cartagena.. Oh what a lovely place!

Trip Start Sep 03, 2007
Trip End Jul 03, 2008

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Flag of Colombia  , Cartagena,
Tuesday, April 29, 2008

So we have had to leave the paradise of Palomino and the relaxing quality of Taganga and make our way to Cartagena. Thats not such a bad thing though. Cartagena is meant to be the most beautiful town in Colombia as well as the access point to ColombiaŽs most beautiful beach, Playa Blanca. We really do lead a very hard life.

We decided to be posh and take the direct door to door mini bus service from Taganga to Cartegena. At 40,000 Pesos it was a complete waste of time and having to sit in town for 20 mins waiting to collect people completely nullified the whole point of the bus... Next time weŽll go back to the local bus!

Cartegena itself is a very beautiful town. Back in its day it was the secure port for the Spanish ships laden with gold about to set sail from the Americas back to Spain. The old town is surrounded by magnificent fortifications. The inner town is made up of colourful streets and churches. Time wasting is very easy to do here... But we decided to be Cultural....! Our first stop was the Oro museum on Bolivar Square. Being free was the main attraction but the museum itself is actually very interesting indeed. It basically covers the history of Colombia and the role played by gold, there is also a hell of a lot of gold ornaments to gaze at!

Our second port of call was there Church of Santa Domingo. For $5 we got an electronic tour round the church with the history being explained through headsets and big info boards. Still not 100% convinced about this whole Catholic religion malarkey but very interesting none the same...

Caroline went on a 3 hour search for a post office... They donŽt exist and when you do find somewhere to send a postcard they want $3 each, so no postcards coming your way from here...

I went for a quick look round the fortification museum (6000 pesos) which highlighted how and why the city needed them. Basically I think the Spanish were a little pissed off with Sir Francis Drake for holding the town siege for 56 days and then nicking all their gold! What a dude!

In the Afternoon we head to the fort (13,000 pesos) that overlooks the town. Quite an impressive structure full of nooks and crannies. I was running round like a 10 year old boy while Caroline was being far more graceful in her lovely dress... It would be a fantastic place for a game of hide an seek!

We then met up with Ken... Ken used to be John Johnson and was apparently in jail in Colombia in the 1970s. He was there for drugs, surprisingly! He managed to escape twice and has written a book about it. So hopefully should get to read that soon.....
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