November 17th 2007
I’m sitting here on our deck as we sail away from a truly nice day in Cartegena, Columbia. It was very hot (90+ degrees F) and humid, but our tour was fun and our drive and tour guide nice.
The day started about 6 AM when I woke up and watched the sun rise over Cartegena. By then I was too excited to sleep, so I woke up Hubby and we dressed and went to the Lido deck for breakfast.
When we got back to our room, there was as announcement on the door reading “Happy Birthday, Maribeth, with three bright birthday balloons. I opened the door and found a lovely bouquet of yellow roses from George and Carole.
Before we knew it, it was time to go down and catch our tour bus for the “Best Of Cartegena” As I stated it was a great tour taking us to two beautiful churches, and the forts.
I didn’t know too much about Cartagena, except what I had seen in the movie, “Romancing the Stone, and of course the things I have heard on the TV about the drug trade. What I found was a large city that had both the rich and the very poor coexisting.
I was also amazed to see how large a city Cartagena is (1 million population). It appeared that there were policemen on just about every corner, as well as the local freelance entrepreneurs. One man followed me all around trying to sell me a t-shirt and even came to the bus and knocked on my window! Hubby told me to turn away and not look, but oh boy, was that hard!
Hubby also took me to a nice jewelry store here and we picked out a pair of emerald earrings. Emeralds are not too rare here and the prices are about 1/2 what they are in the states. We were bargaining with the jeweler and I said, “Today is my birthday, so can you give me a better price?”, and he did!
I must mention here that the Cartagenian’s are wild and crazy drivers. There are very few stop signs, motorcycles weave in and out of traffic and non traffic lanes and might makes right! If I should come here again I will definitely get a driver. Someone who understands the lack of rules on the road! LOL
At dinner tonight we celebrated with some really wonderful food. Both Hubby and I had Lobster Ragu and then I ordered a soufflé for dessert, but I was sad that they had no chocolate cake for me. No sooner had I made my order than the chocolate cake of my dreams appeared and everyone sang Happy Birthday! Besides the beautiful earrings, Hubby had a fabulous bouquet of flowers presented to me at our table. The neat thing about this was that i was not only my birthday, but the Head Waiter’s birthday and another woman’s birthday as well. Yes, good babies were born on November 17th!
Now we are headed toward he Panama Canal. We will make that passage tomorrow. We plan breakfast on the deck and then we will be watching every moment we can as we go from lock to lock, through the Panama Canal.