Hasta la proxima, Cartagena

November 21, 2010 • 4:09 am

I’m not much of a big-scenery photographer; if you want a panoramic view of the remarkable Spanish colonial town of Cartagena, Google images has photos much better than mine.  But here are a few vignettes.

One—especially one who, like me, travels on his stomach—could easily suppose that the main industry of Cartagena is snacking and selling snacks to others. The streets are filled with life, and most of that life seems to be eating or purveying food. In the background is always raucous music. It’s paradise.

Forget the overpriced haunts of the Caribbean; this is a real multicultural town, with mestizos, blacks, and Hispanics all stewed together, and a merciful dearth of tourists. It’s hot and humid and loud and beautiful; a UNESCO World Heritage City.  If someone asked me where to vacation in the Caribbean, I’d immediately tell them, “Cartagena—but don’t tell anyone else.”  I haz a sadz because I’m leaving this morning.

I spent most of my time in the old walled city, though there are plenty of modern parts of Cartagena.  This is the old town from afar, with a few newer buildings in the foreground (building more of these is now forbidden):

The old Spanish fort, Castillo de San Filipe de Barajas (begun 1657), the greatest fortress ever built in any Spanish colony:

14 thoughts on “Hasta la proxima, Cartagena

  1. Boy, if the science thing doesn’t work out for you, think about a future with Fodor.

    I wonder if my passport has expired. . .

  2. I’ve spent many hours inside the fort. It’s more spectacular than one can imagine. It has canals built throughout it that enabled the Spaniards to ferry arms, munitions and food to its guardians. I highly recommend it to anyone interested in the history of the Conquest.

    Additionally, all of Columbia is rich in the history of the Conquest and post colonial agitation by the descendents of earlier Spanish settler, like Simon Bolivar, who campaigned heavily across the country to free South America from the Church and the Spanish yoke.

    Thanks for the shots. They brought back many fond memories.
    ~Rev. El

  3. Those’re some ahrty pics! Would love to have a framed print of the ‘tree.’

    Intriguing sculpture in that church plaza…

  4. Jerry, take me with you next time. I require little maintenance and have all my shots. I’m not much on the eyes but I have arms that carry bags and legs to fetch things. When do we go?

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