I visited the walled city or Old Town today. It is the area of Cartagena built in the 16th century with walls around the entire area (hence the name) - it's a fairly large area for having walls all around - a good 5 minute walk directly through. It's very Caribbean, the buildings are all vibrant colors with balconies overflowing with greenery, and cobblestone streets. It kinda of reminds me of New Orleans thrown back in time to a beach town. A lot of the buildings have massive doors that have much a smaller normal size door built into one side. I'm guessing so they could let a carriage or something in back in the day. A lot of the buildings had markers that they were a politicians' residences in the 16/17th century. Once you go through the doors you aren't always inside what would appear to be a store or a house but sometimes a courtyard with a new square of doors all around you.
The city seems to be set up for protection from outside forces, from the Walled City to the Castillo San Felipe. They built the entire fortess with NO steps and you'll see from pics it stand very high. There is only one entrance and the rest is built like a maze with underground tunnels lined with prisoner cells (some so small the person couldn't even lay down, while others were maybe 8*4; I suppose the higher rank officials got larger cells). I looked up it's winning ratio in battle and it's 50/50 - they didn't mention that in the video in the old hospital on the tour.
Hey, please make sure you get my knees in this pic :l #backupenglishspeakinglady
January 21, 2016
90 and sunny in January is pretty awesome. The evenings have a nice beach breeze that isn't chilly - just right. They sure like their music here - I do too. It's playing everywhere on the beach and from restaurants. If you aren't familiar with Colombian music (aside from Shakira) it's got a reggae feel - as it should on the beach. Yesterday I walked across the street to the beach to see kitesurfers galore! The ocean is warm enough to get in and cold enough to be refreshing though the waves are ferocious! There are lifeguards all along Bocagrande and red flags (universal for danger - I looked up some reasons why - something to do with it being the most distinct color our eyes pick up because it is the least scattered by air molecules so we can see it through distance, fog, rain, etc...and some say we inherently see it as dangerous because things that are hot are red and so is blood). Tough luck for the color blind.
They also have police men all over the city; they all wear hunter green. In retrospect, I feel like we have police officers all over Dallas too. The only one that stood out was holding an AR-15. What's up buddy? I'll head the other way now...
Speaking of garb. Who knew, well besides moi ;), that crocs were such a fashion statement. I've never seen so many grown men wearing crocs! One dude, in camouflage crocs, had an impressive display of Angry Bird characters bedazzling one foot and super heroes on the other. Word.
Saw a man on a patio having something similar to this, it looked gluten free so I sat down and asked the waitress (in spanish)..."I can't eat gluten but I can have rice and corn. I would like to have what is on that man's "duck" (so close to plate) but with chicken"...fortunately, she got it. :)