Sunday, February 9, 2014

FTV February 9

The T.S. Kennedy moored at the tourist dock in Cartagena, Colombia this morning under very hot sunshine.  The city skyline indicates a modern and vibrant community that has a reputation as a great tourist location.
Once docked we had a visit from the US Department of State, who gave our cadets and crew a briefing on the dos and don’ts in Cartagena – quite frankly the usual – except when he warned them about not leaving the city limits.  He also surprised our cadets when he announced the ship must abide by the State Department policy that sailors return to the ship by 0100.   I think the cadets are well-prepared to enter a port where we have not visited in 50 years.
As we stepped off the ship we were not quite sure what to expect since Columbia is a new experience for almost everyone on board. Through my research and what I have been told the old city of Cartenga, Colombia is very beautiful. The buildings are filled with personality and the colors will surround you as you explore the city. One of our planned excursions is a bus tour of the old city of Cartenga. A second excursion is a kayaking trip.
As a big coffee drinker, I am most excited to try some fresh Colombian coffee. I hope that it will live up to its reputation and not disappoint me. After I try my first cup of genuine Colombian coffee I’ll let you know if it lives up to the reputation.

The Historic Old Town of Cartagena's was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, The area consists of preserved colonial-era mansions, churches, and ornate balconies In Old Town you can sit in a 16th-century plaza, and walk along the walls of a 300-year-old fortress.
Enter the city through the historic Torre del Reloj, one of Cartagena's most recognized sites. It was originally called Boca del Puente and was built as the main entrance to the walled city.
It is located in Plaza de los Coches, where you can buy traditional Colombian and Cartagenian candy and sweets at the Portal de Los Dulces.

Next head down Calle de la Amargura, past La Plaza de La Aduana to La Plaza de San Pedro, where you can visit the Iglesia/Claustro/Museo San Pedro Claver, constructed in 1580.  Walk down Calle San Juan de Dios to the Cartagena Naval Museum, where you can take in antique naval instruments and objects.

 Walk past La Plaza de Santa Teresa, up Calle de A. Ricaurte (which becomes Calle Santa Teresa) to Plaza de Bolívar, where you can visit the free Museo del Oro as well as the Palacio de La Inquisición and La Biblioteca Bartolomé Calvo, once Cartagena's most important libraries. Be sure not to miss Cartagena's much photographed Catedral, built in 1586, destroyed by English pirate Francis Drake, and recently remodeled and opened to the public.

 Now walk up Calle Nuestra Señora del Carmen before arriving at the Plaza de Santo Domingo, one of Cartagena's most popular and vibrant plazas. Be sure to visit the Iglesia/Claustro Santo Domingo, a lovely 450-year-old church. Take a break at Plaza Santo Domingo for a light lunch or snack at one of the plaza's many outdoor cafes, where you can enjoy the colonial atmosphere.
A short walk up the Calle de las Bóvedas will take you to Las Bóvedas, a former jail, used during the independence period, which has been converted into 23 souvenir shops.

No comments:

Post a Comment