Friday, April 28, 2023

Exploring the Getsami District in Cartagena

The Getsami District, just outside the walls of Cartagena's Old City, is colorful, with a strong sense of cultural identity.  The area has a youthful, art-focused vibe and Forbes has named it one of the coolest neighborhoods in the world.  The area is full of bright Caribbean colors, with block after block of unique street art.  We enter the area and wander.

Entering the Getsami Districty

Wandering into Getsami

After a few blocks, we wander into Plazuela de la Santisima Trinidad, with sculptures of independence heroes outside the small church.  The plaza is filled with food hawkers, performers, locals hanging out, and, of course, the odd tourist.

Plazuela de la Santisima Trinidad

We continue our stroll down the narrow streets.

Continuing to wander

Tuesday, April 25, 2023

Arriving in Cartagena, Columbia

We arrive in the port of Cartagena, Columbia, the second largest city in the Caribbean region, early in the morning and wander into the port, finding a fabulous small zoo at the entrance to the port.

Arriving in Cartagena, docking

Zoo in the port

Leaving the port, we head up to the highest point in Cartagena, Convento de la Popa, a 17th century convent with spectacular views of the city.  Also located here, the Bateria San Juan is one of the defensive works erected on the hill during the second war with England.

Views of Cartagena

Inside the monestary

Descending from the monestary, we pass a great shoe sculpture on our way to view the Castillo San Felipe de Barajas, a fortress built in 1536 to dominate approaches to the city by land and sea.  The fortress was involved in several battles between European powers from the late 17th to the early 19th centuries.

Sculpture below the fortress

Castillo San Felipe de Barajas

Outside the fortress, a statue of  Blas de Lezo, hero of the defense of Cartagena in 1741 (defending against the British) stands guard.

Blas de Lezo

Across the street, remnants of the old city wall stand, continuing much of the way around the Old City.

City wall

We continue our stroll toward the artistic Getsami district. 

Friday, April 21, 2023

Island Adventure in Aruba

In the morning, we travel out to the private island owned by the Renaissance Hotel, where we are staying.  The shuttle boat to the island leaves from the hotel lobby, cuts through the hotel, and heads across the bay to the island.

Shuttle to the island from the hotel lobby

Cutting across the bay, arriving

We are welcomed to the island by the local wildlife:  flamingos, lizards, and pelicans.

Welcome to our island

We stroll over to the beach, pick some chairs, and settle in for a few hours.

Settlling in

After a little rest and relaxation, we swim in the lagoon and take a few pictures from the water.


The occasional rainbow

View from the water

Back on the beach, we wander a bit, then take the shuttle back to the hotel.

Strolling on the beach

Shuttle back

For dinner, we head over to Pelican Pier for fabulous shrimp, grouper, and key lime pie.

Grouper and pie

Tomorrow, it's time to get on our ship and head to Cartagena, Columbia.