Monday, May 11, 2015

I Walk the Walls

Whenever I visit a seafaring town that is protected by thick walls that one can walk upon, I always choose to walk the walls. So let's take a walk.

I headed north toward a section of wall I had not yet walked.

This cow was at the door of an Argentine restaurant. I didn't try the restaurant given that I am in Colombia to eat Colombian food, not Argentine, but I did photograph the cow because I do that sort of thing.

But once I got on the walls, I saw the two things you see everywhere in the Old City of Cartagena: La policia and street vendors.

The walls are very important for protecting the Old City. Even today, as you can see, the old walls serve as a necessary protective barrier guarding against the encroachment of Miami-style high rise condominiums.

I think that last sentence is literally correct. Cartagena was saved from "modern" development because it lost its status as Colombia's primary port in the mid 1800's and no one had the money to modernize the place and "keep up with the times." Then, a few decades, someone(s) realized that being locked in place in the Colonial Era was actually way cool. And Cartagena kept the same character as New Orleans's French Quarter, only on the other side of the Gulf of Mexico/Caribbean Sea.

The horse drawn carriages are everywhere, for example. Out even in the hottest part of the day. It adds to the romantic atmosphere of the place, if you are into that sort of thing.

I'm not. So, instead, let's check out the turret.


Being inside a turret really narrows one's view of the world. I say, being inside a turret ... really narrows ... ahhh ... forget about it ... you had to be there.

And what is that that can be seen from atop the walls? Why that is the Caribbean Sea.

And this was the bus stop for the Caribbean Sea:

Just a little farther down the road, just outside the walls, I saw this:

El Monumento a los Alcatraces. The Monument to the Pelicans. Because I'm into this sort of thing, indulge me while I post a few pictures of El Monumento a los Alcatraces:

And from another angle:

Or how about the artsy underneath shot?

I like it because it reminds me of my favorite statute in Washington, D.C., which is actually on the Virginia side of the Potomac just up from the 14th Street Bridge:

Not Cartagena. Washington, D.C.
The Navy-Merchant Marine Memorial.

There is a statue of a lone pelican off to the side.

Aaaah. He's trying to join the flock.

Time to get back to the wall-walking. This-a-way.

So now that we are back on the walls, let's look at El Monumento a los Alcatraces from the wall:

Are these tourists, perhaps, shooting Monumento a los Alcatraces from the wall?

Two photography styles on display there. Shooting your subject as is. And shooting a selfie with something interesting in the selfie background. Like here:

If you look closely, you can see a few pelicans coming out from my left (your right) temple.

An afternoon of wall-walking really works up an appetite:

So I ate some street food:

An arepa con queso. Vendors are cooking them all over the streets of Cartagena. An arepa is a thick pancake or biscuit made from corn flour, so they are gluten free. And it's "con queso," with cheese, because why not?

The afternoon concluded with some souvenir shopping. I chose this place because it had a stuffed donkey wearing a hat and bandanna.

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