March 4th-5th, 2015
My first tourist activity in Cartagena was a visit to the San Felipe fort, a massive stone stronghold with numerous cannon lines up on a hill across an inlet from the historical center of the old town. It’s an impressive structure which stood watch for a few hundred years over this vital Spanish harbour. Unfortunately I had spent an hour trying to find a post office before getting to San Felipe and I was now close to noon and the sun was beating down. Luckily I had my authentic Panamanian hat which I had primarily purchased for the sailing trip and had hardly worn but it came in handy here. I paid the extra for an audio tour and spent almost 2 hours wandering around. There were some great views from the top of the fortification and I was also impressed by the myriad of tunnels inside.
The view from my accommodation:
Approaching the fort:
The view from the top:
The odd cannon is still around:
The backside ramparts:
Still rockin' my Panamanian hat...but not often:
One entrance to the tunnels:
Inside the labyrinth:
I sought a bit of reprieve from the heat in the nearby air conditioned San Felipe mall before crossing Getsemani into the historical center for a short wander before meeting up with the other Aussies. It was Jazmin’s birthday so we wanted to celebrate it. We had some beers in the restaurant at their hostel and later, when the bar opened at 10 pm, we ventured up there. I left shortly after midnight as I needed to get up to get my yellow fever vaccination but I guess the others continued on until 6 am!
Even with some explicit instructions I found on the Web it took me a while to locate the vaccination centre (which didn’t surprise me). But once I did it was quick and relatively painless to get…and free! The Aussies had received their vaccinations back home and the yellow fever one had cost them about 70 bucks, which is probably what it would run in Canada, so I was happy to have gotten a bit of a break.
I walked over to the historical centre for some more aimless wandering. It is a pretty area with lovely old building that are well maintained, many of which contain fancy shops but there seemed to be a lack of cafes or restaurants where I could find some breakfast. Sadly I ended up eating at Subway! Afterwards I chilled out in a lovely park and then visited the Caribbean Naval Museum, which was okay but everything was in Spanish.
Approaching the Historical Center:
The main entrance:
The main square:
One of many lovely streets:
I like how this ship transports you back in time...
One of the view nice parks where you could sit down in some shade:
Just leaving the old part of town:
Looking back towards Getsemani:
The rest of the day was pretty chilled, as was the evening. Cartagena’s not a bad city, but I’m ready to move on.