Today began with our arrival to lovely Cartagena, Colombia. We arrived a little before 8, and unfortunately had to leave by 1:30. It was very disappointing that we were so close (about an hour) away from Humberto's hometown, Barranquilla, but due to time restrictions were unable to go visit his family. So the first thing we saw when we walked up the dock was Humberto's old company, Global Shipping. He used to come to Cartagena for training and vacation so he was very familiar with the city. We walked through a nice little tourist entrance and grabbed a taxi that took us into the Ciudad Amurallada, the old portion of the city, which is surrounded by a fortress. The city is beautiful. We took countless pictures of the architecture. Most of the buildings/houses date back to the 1600s. What is nice about this city is that they maintain the architectural beautiful for the old homes and buildings. Many of the other places we visited did not take pride in their heritage.

So some of the places we visited included, the Clock Tower, which was the main entrance to the fortress (protected part of the city), the Santo Domingo square (with the naked fat lady statue - I am sure this has a name - TBD). We also went an visited a couple of beautiful old hotels, one of which was the home to 5 tucans. Apparently they love having their pictures taken so they came up to us. The guard even let me hold one! I was so excited! I had never seen a tucan before. They are very beautiful! We also walked by the house of Gabriel Garcia Marquez, the Nobel Prize winning author who wrote Love in the Time of Colera. If you saw the movie it was filmed in Cartagena. We even walked through some of the streets where the movie was filmed. Our guide told us they filled the streets with sand to make the city look like it did at the time the story was set. One of my favorite parts of the trip was going to get some Ajiaco, traditionally from the interior part of Colombia. The ajiaco was fantastic - Panama has nothing on Colombian ajiaco!! One of Humberto's favorite parts of this trip... purchasing his Sombrero Vueltiao - the traditionally Colombian hat. He got one with 19 rounds (or 19 vuealtas in Spanish). The more vuealtas, the finer the hat. The most you can get is 21, which we found for around $150.

We also went to the modern portion of the city, Boca Grande, Castillo Grande, and Manga, which all contain several new highrise buildings. Our cab driver was supposed to drop us off and come back for us, but he never did. It was no problem though as a nice gentleman at a restaurant hailed a cab for us. As I mentioned earlier our trip to this port was very short, so we were not able to do much before 1:30 arrived. One thing I have to mention is that it was so hot I could hardly stand it. Humberto was hot and sweaty too, but he did not complain like I did. I was literally being cooked alive while we walked on top of the fortress wall. It is a good thing I was loaded up on sunblock or I would be burned a lot worse that I already am.

This is a city we plan on coming back to. It is one of my favorites on this trip. Hopefully we can come back soon and stay for at least a few days so we can finish exploring this beautiful area. Viva Colombia!

Newlyweds for: 3411 days