Saturday, September 22, 2012

things we saw

of course on that first afternoon we had the usual orientation walk - where the grocery was located etc...but we also walked to the main square of the old town where a very raucous concert was going on- then the group headed onward to a "salsa lesson"- Kimo and I skipped it and went back to the hotel and the AC... I of course thought of Jennifer who would have been the first person dancing (see the entry on Cuba called "on we go" from mid April 2012 - that is Jennifer's dancing silhouette in the photo near the end- LOL)

but on we go - here in Cartagena... the next morning we gather early- I know Jairo is hoping to keep us from wilting in the heat and humidity by early start times (did I mention he had water? LOL)  we start off towards the main square and then do a walking tour of the old town.  Compact and charming, there are buildings in perfect restoration and ones in various stages but the overall atmosphere is one of prosperity.  Apparently during the drug era Cartagena was neutral territory because both cartels (Medellin and Cali) needed a place to ge away with their families LOL go figure.

so we saw churches and government buildings and homes and shops along with street vendors for food and handicrafts- I will let the photos tell you the story of old town Cartagena soon but let me say this about the UNESCO World Heritage site- it would be better served to pedestrianize the narrow streets like many cities have done for the old hearts of the cities.  The constant crush of taxis (there were hundreds of them combing the small area seeking fares) combined with the very narrow and sometimes non existent sidewalks makes for some challenging pedestrian touring. If they put taxis stands right at the edges it would never be more than a few short blocks walk to get one if you needed it. But hey- no one asks me- the "Shell Answer (wo)Man" about how to solve these problems- LOL

so on to the photos-


so the next post will still be old town but about vendors seen along the way...

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