Day 4, Tues., Jan. 8, 2013 ~ Cartagena, Colombia

     Founded in 1533, Cartagena de Indias gained fame after the mid-16th century when great fleets stopped annually to take on gold and other products of northern South America for convoy to Spain.  The city became a center for the Inquisition and a major slave market.  In 1811, the province declared its independence from Spain and years of fighting followed.  After falling into Spanish hands from 1815 to 1821, the city was recaptured by patriot forces.  In the early national period, Cartagena continued as Colombia’ leading port, but it was handicapped by inadequate connections with the interior.  By the 1840;s it had declined in population and commerce.  In the 20th century it experienced renewed growth and is now Colombia’s 5th largest city.  Probably the most significant factor in Cartagena’s revitalization was the opening of petroleum fields in the Rio Magdalena Valley after 1917.  Today Cartagena is a sprawling city of 850,000 inhabitants, a bustling maritime and industrial center.  Yet visitors find themselves transported back in history as they wander along the twisting streets of the old city with its imposing architecture.  Just outside the city walls lies the fortress of Castillo de San Felipe de Barajas, rising 135 feet above sea level.

     We decided to go to the cruise terminal because there was a shuttle.  We did not do any ship tours as we did it years ago.  The cruise terminal now has a duty free shop and a souvenir shop and a plaza with parrots, flamingoes and peacocks.  I didn’t have my camera but we took the iPad mini to see if they had free wi-fi.  It was $5 for 30 minutes.   I did try taking some pictures with the iPad.  I did not get any photos of the modern skyline.

Cartagena CartagenaCartagena Cartagena

I will have to learn to hold the iPad on its side.  Taking a picture of ourselves was hysterical as my arms aren’t long enough to get far away.  That is the Amsterdam in the background.

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     It was a short day in port and sail away was at 1 pm as we have to be at the entrance to the Panama Canal at 5 am.  There was a full schedule of activities in the afternoon, much to the surprise of Carol and Maureen.  We got familiar with the colors in our trays and mad a bracelet in crafts.  I popped into the Digital Workshop and finally learned what DCIM stands for on the computer.  Now it seems like a “duh” moment but I hadn’t figured it out.  If you didn’t know, it is Digital Camera Images.  Ray did the Long Putt and shoot basketballs, in which he won 6 Grand Dollars!

     Dinner service was much better tonight.  The entertainment tonight was an internationally renowned four handed piano show called “Pianotainment”.  Photography and video recording were not allowed, but if it were, I would have a great video!  They were outstanding!  They made listening to piano playing for 45 minutes seem like 10.  I don’t think I could make my fingers go that fast without trying to hit the right notes.  There was a pleasant surprise in the room tonight – our laundry that we sent out this morning was returned, pressed and hanging on hangers.  Love it!  We get to the Panama Canal very early tomorrow, it is a shame it is so dark.  We just might sleep through it.  I do have painting at 9 however!  Clearing off our little desk tonight, I found our invitation to a Welcome Cocktail Party from our Travel Agent Kelly arranged for 4:30 PM.  Ooops!  Another thing I just realized that I left out of yesterday’s post.  Usually on formal nights we receive a “pillow gift”.  Last night we received a purple embroidered tote or messenger bag containing an embroidered health kit in a pouch and an around your neck holder for ID, credit cards and cash!  I guess purple is the color for this cruise which is, by the way, called “Postcards from Paradise”.

“Do your best when no one is looking.  If you do that, then you can be successful in anything that you put your mind to.” ~ Bob Cousy

One Response to “Day 4, Tues., Jan. 8, 2013 ~ Cartagena, Colombia”

  1. Mary Clem Says:

    what can you do with all the grand dollars you & Ray are winning?

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