Cartagena & My Birthday

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.

The Best of Cartagena

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!

Nov 17 1cartegena 10

Nov 17 108

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.

9 thoughts on “Cartagena & My Birthday”

  1. What a nice birthday for you !!
    When I read about haggling follow you nearly into the bus, sticking on you and almost one policeman for one tourist I had to think about Egypt at least at the Red Sea it is exactly the same and jewelery is sooooo cheap. Today I have some on my blog but only fashion jewlery but with real semi precious stones.

  2. Oh dear, what a B D. I see from the pictures your hubby really loves you. What can be better?
    And all the flowers and your surprise fav cake. Hurray.

    Cartagena – I’ve only heard about the city – but, I must admit, due to the narcotica reports – It has never been on my desitanation schedule – may be I have to rethink…

    Anyhow – our next project is Buenos Aires – less than 2 weeks from now.

    And last weekend I was in Miami Beach – Everglades and even down to Key West. Can’t believe it.

    Have a safe and fabulous cruise in Panama.

    Tor The Viking

  3. What a great picture of you and Jack! Sounds like such a great trip! I am so happy for you! Can’t wait to chat.

    Love you lots,

  4. Zoounds, sounds wonderful! Will be interested to hear the comparison to Alaska trip. Glad you birthday was so wonderful-you deserve it! Carol

  5. You look wonderful!! and your birthday sounds like it too!
    Mr Mar has been in Cartagena and then crossed the Panama Canal in a sailing boat on his way to meet his sweetheart *wink*

  6. Ah, it looks like you had a wonderful birthday! You look absolutely gorgeous in those photos, really glowing 🙂

    Cartagena, how interesting, I’ve never thought of it as a place to visit, but it seems interesting. Love the buildings out in the water. The fontain is beauuuutiful – and all the statues!

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