After a day at sea, our port following Havana was Cartagena, Colombia. I knew very little about Cartagena, except from the 1980’s movie “Romancing the Stone” where Kathleen Turner played a novelist who had to rescue her sister from a drug cartel. Apparently, things have gotten better in Cartagena. The weather in Cartagena was as hot as Havana, and even more humid. We were told that this humid weather was actually “nicer” than the hotter months. Imagine that!
We found our tour guide from a site called Tours by Locals. Our guide spoke excellent English, and took us to the Cerro De La Popa, a church located on top of a hill overlooking the city.
Our guide told us the history of the site, and after taking a few photos, we were off to the Casillo San Felipe, the fort located in the center of the city. Unfortunately, we did not get to walk up to the castle, but took a quick photo. A bit disappointing.
We drove around the city, and our last destination was the old part of Cartagena. The guide explained the doors on the homes represent the wealth and status of the occupants. The bigger the door knockers, the more wealthy they were. And, the symbol of the door knocker represented their occupation.
One thing we did wanted to try was “Colombian” coffee, so we asked our guide if he could take us to a coffee place. I think he wanted to impress us and took us to a converted restaurant which used to be the home of a wealthy person. While impressive, the restaurant wasn’t a coffee shop, and, in fact used Nespresso coffee capsules, not home brewed coffee. I ended up having a strawberry blended drink.
Overall, Cartagena was not our favorite stop. Perhaps if we had a different guide who took us to the heart of the interesting places, rather than a superficial view, we would have had a better time. But, at least I can say I’ve been, I’ve seen, and now it’s time to move on.
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