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Colombia

CARTAGENA, COLUMBIA


View GRAND SOUTH AMERICAN ADVENTURE 2013 on Swenigale's travel map.

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The sight of old Spanish fortifications heralded our 2pm arrival - the beautiful bay and lagoon of Cartagena

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Pelicans and seagulls are unimpressed by the arrival of our big white ship. The port was discovered and named by Spanish explorers in 1505 and the city is now the 5th largest urban area in Columbia.

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The serene Madonna and child belie the turbulent, often bloody history of this place - scene of bold piracy and cruelty with the discovery of "green gold", emeralds, once it became prized by Europeans.

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The old city is surrounded by walls constructed by the Spanish over a period of 200 years. They were built to give protection from all the pirate raids.

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Our "pirate ship" ride (made even more colorful by dancers, musicians, and our very own pirate captain) brought us to the Old City-not to pillage, unless with credit cards!

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Unemployment is high in the city, but there are men working hard breaking up and replacing a street by hand.

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The Old City is a UNESCO World Heritage Site - a beautiful place to visit with its colonial architecture and interesting history and colorful shops.

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You are not counted as unemployed if you are a street artist or vendor - the quick art this man creates is fun to watch - and a bargain at 2 for $10!

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You are here.

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Our pirate ship awaits. Fun - but I'm glad we're not sailing in her around South America!

Posted by Swenigale 18:21 Archived in Colombia

CARTAGENA, COLUMBIA - Day 2

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We stayed overnight in Cartagena, so Thursday morning we both escorted tours - Ed to the Monasteries, me on a "Kaleidoscope" visit. Outside the city walls the Spanish built the amazing Fortress of San Felipe. This was Spain's most outstanding feat of engineering in the New World.

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The fort was built when it became clear that more protection from pirate raids was needed. Spanish treasure was stored here, but it was still vulnerable when loaded on ships to be brought back to Spain.

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Begun in 1536, construction lasted 121 years.

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This is the courtyard of La Popa Monastery - a 17th century structure high over the city. Beautiful and peaceful now, it was needed as a fortress at times in the past.

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The golden altar inside the chapel had been hidden in a swamp from the marauding pirate Henry Morgan (supposedly a far distant ancestor of one of our lecturers!).

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We could fill pages and pages with pictures of balconies, flowers, street vendors, etc..!

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The roof tops of the Church of San Pedro, also a monastery.

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San Pedro Claver lived from 1580 to 1654, he was a Jesuit priest who dedicated his life to protect, help and baptize thousands of slaves who were brought here from Africa to work in mines under brutal conditions.

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San Pedro was the first South American Saint in Roman Catholic tradition. His remains are enshrined at the base of the altar in the church that bears his name.

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"Hats off" to Simon Bolivar - the hero who led the fight for Columbia's independence.

Posted by Swenigale 13:21 Archived in Colombia

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