Estimated reading time: 7 minutes

Day 12 – Columbia, Here We Come!!

We have our dance shoes on!

Estimated reading time: 7 minutes

The sea was a tad angry last night, but not enough to move the ship—just enough to generate a lot of spray. We got a phone call this morning—it was from room service! They knocked at our door, and we were still asleep. Mary jumped up and got our morning coffee while I disappeared into the bathroom. We must be having too much fun!

Robin and Scout sent us a text; Scout is doing just fine!

We arrived at 6:00 am and pulled in beside a Holland American liner, preparing to depart.

Nice looking ship; Robin would approve.

We cleaned up and got ready to go on tour, even though we didn’t have to leave until 10:30 am.  We had breakfast in our room.

The people and cars look small from up here!

Cartagena is a port city on Colombia’s Caribbean coast.  By the sea is the walled Old Town, founded in the 16th century, with squares, cobblestone streets, and colorful colonial buildings.

Cartagena, Colombia, has many forts, including the >Castillo San Felipe de Barajas, also known as San Felipe de Barajas Fort.  Built in 1536, this fortress is located on the Hill of San Lázaro and is Colombia’s largest fortification.  It was initially called the Castillo de San Lázaro and was built by African slaves under Spanish supervision during the colonial era.

The walls were slanted so the attacking forces’ cannon balls would glance off the structure.

Since 1990, the castle has served as a location for social and cultural events offered by the Colombian government in honor of foreign delegations at presidential summits, ministerial meetings, the Summit of the Non-Aligned Movement (1995), and the Summit of the Rio Group (2000), among others.  The castle is open to visitors, but only some tunnels are open to viewing.

A lot of rocks were stacked up and served the city well.

We got dropped off and walked a block to the dance studio, but when our guide rang the bell, no one showed up!  They had moved, so we walked another six blocks to the new location.

She raised her red umbrella so we could follow her.  Getting lost in this city would be easy!  The streets appear to have been built without any planning, as they go every which way.

She kept the 31 on us in toe without a single loss.

The streets were exceptionally clean, and fantastic plants grew everywhere!  However, we were warned that the roads and sidewalks were notoriously uneven, and tripping was a national pastime.

Mary wore her tennis shoes and brought her dance shoes, which was a good idea.

The homes and businesses were painted bright colors, which Vicky would appreciate!  Bouginvilla and other vines grew up the sides and had been doing that for decades.

The natural rainfall of the area watered them.

The studio was up two flights of stairs, so we went slowly and ensured we could still dance after the effort!

Good name for the studio: Crazy Salsa!

The room was long and narrow but well-air-conditioned—a little extraordinary!  The ladies wore skirts to move around as they danced, and the guys wore hats.

One size fits all!

The instructors were young and knew the stuff!  We learned three dances, two of which Mary and I knew but forgot the rhythm.  Once they showed us, we were off and running.  The third dance was from Africa and involved using a machete, so we paid little attention to it, knowing the Elks would probably not play that tune.!

We were there for two hours and had a Mojito drink to cool us down!

We had to find our bus, but not before we were taken to two shopping areas.  One was an emerald store, but Mary saw nothing that caught her eye!

I tried to get Mary to turn her hat upside down, and I would have filled it with local street vendor fruits; it was a no-go!

We returned to the bus and drove to the port, where we had another photo op!  The port is quite large, and the skyline is impressive, with tall buildings everywhere.

We popped out of the bus for the photo op and sent it to Marshall.

Why does “slow down” and “slow up” mean the same thing?

The breeze was very refreshing.

We were ready to return to the ship, so we jumped on the bus and traveled the last two miles.

The skyline was quite impressive.

There was a bird sanctuary at the pier’s entrance, and we strolled through it.  It was exciting.

With all the sounds, we had to visit it.

You could put out your arm, and the parrots would jump on your arm.  Most of them were not in cages and walked around looking at the passengers.

Why do we say something is out of whack?  What is a whack?

We counted about 70 of these beautiful animals and saw anteaters, turtles, and other jungle inhabitants.

We walked the last couple of blocks to the ship!

We went to the 18th floor, got our drinks at 4:15 pm, and waited for our reservations at Sabatini Restaurant at 5:20 pm.  It was a wonderful day!

The ship pulled out as we sat down; the skyline floated across the back window.

Dave and I tasted sweet cocktails, and our waiter was terrific in fulfilling our requests, including a clear chocolate martini.

Why is the third hand on a watch called the second hand?

We are looking for more drinks for the next few days!

Mary was a good girl and stayed with Chardonnay!

With the help of the iPhone, we look up drinks!

We stayed after dinner was complete and swapped stories; it was great fun!

Those things that never happened were a lot of fun!

We have a day at sea tomorrow, and the next day, we arrive in Grand Cayman for a day of exploring.

Good night, all.

About Paul

Just an old retired guy trying to finish out my last years on this planet. I lost my best friend and wife in early 2020. I was blessed again by reconnecting with Dr. Mary Côté, a long-time friend. Mary and I got married July 28th, 2021, and are enjoying life together and plan to spend the rest of our lives being a blessing to our friends and family.
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