Friday, December 04, 2009

Day 5, Island Princess Cruise
December 2009, Part 1

Cartagena, Colombia

We woke up in Cartagena, Colombia. We had heard of Cartagena but knew nothing about it, so we signed up for a three-hour tour. It turns out that Cartagena is a big city, with a population of about one million people. And a history dating back to its founding in 1533. There is a large middle class and it looks prosperous and very clean.

We enjoyed the contrasts between the old colonial parts and the residential, beach front neighborhoods with modern high rise apartments.

Colonial courtyards in Cartagena
Courtyards at the Naval Museum of the Caribbean

The Naval Museum is located in the 16th Century area within the walled city near the Church of San Pedro Claver.

Cartagena's harbor
High rise apartments on the water

La Virgen del Carmen
A huge statue of la Virgen del Carmen welcomes sailors

Admiral Don Blas de Lezo
Admiral Don Blas de Lezo

Cartagena's hero with his one eye, one arm and wooden leg, Admiral Don Blas de Lezo, shown above guarding the fort -- the Castillo de San Felipe de Barajas.

We were glad we took the tour. We saw a lot and learned a lot that we wouldn't have found out about had we just taken a taxi around town. This was the first official Princess Cruises on-shore activity we had done. It was well run and started exactly at 9:30 AM, as promised, and we were back at the ship practically on time as well (because of traffic congestion we were 10 minutes behind schedule, no problem).

As we sailed out of Cartagena we did a laundry and took photos of the departure from the rear of the ship. That's where the coin washers and dryers are. There were great improvements in the laundromats, newer and better machines and lots moreof them, too.

Distance Sailed
Fort Lauderdale to Aruba
1104 nautical miles = 1270 statute miles = 1822 kilometers

Aruba to Cartagena
374 nautical miles = 430 statute miles = 617 kilometers

Total distance so far
1478 nautical miles = 1700 statute miles = 2439 kilometers

NOTE: 1 nautical mile = 1.15 land miles = 1.85 kilometers


Claire F Rich said...

All I knew about Cartagena before this was from "Jewel of the Nile".

Kenyo said...

I guess I missed "Jewel of the Nile."

One of the things we learned was there's no thingy over the "n" in Cartagena.

I thought, and remember hearing newscasters in the U.S. say it, that you pronounced it, "Carta-HAY-nya" but the locals all say, "Carta-HAY-na." You learn a lot when you travel.

As Noel Coward wrote, "Travel they say improves the mind..."