Wednesday, 23 September 2009

All done but for that big lump of ice!

It's been an interesting few days, here in Cartagena. And by the looks of it, we'll be here alongside for some time longer :). I have absolutely no problem with that!
As it turned out, I was somewhat cheated out of a look into the city at Madrid by some inaccurate weather forecasting :(. They said it would rain in the morning, so by the time I woke up, it was too late to make the trip. Unfortunately, it was also very bright, sunny and dry :|.

The rest of the trip to the boat went quite nicely. Seeing how I'd left my jacket back home this time, I froze a bit in Madrid, and a bit more in Bogota. (Which may come as a surprise to some, me included :|, but is because of the elevation.) Clearing into Colombia was a breeze!! Which, given the last country I went into for work, was a huge relief!By the time I got off the flight in Cartagena though, the weather was, not unexpectedly, almost uncomfortably equatorial. The next couple of days I took the opportunity to look around town a little. Cartagena, as it happens, is pretty steeped in Spanish colonial history. What with this being the prime location for the conquerors to stash their gold and other valuables and loot before shipping it off the King Ferdinand back in Spain.The old town is quite beautifully preserved! And when I say preserved, please do not imagine this to be so in a sterile protected sort of way! It is vigorously alive! The cobbled alleys, the squares, the parks, all throbbing with life, people milling around, more locals than visitors by far! The old town is enclosed within the still-unbroken wall of the fortifications.
Not far from the walls, across the channel of water, stands the proud and sprawling Castillo San Felipe de Barajas, one of the several castles part of the city's fortifications. And that flag? Wow!! Barring that monstrosity hanging across the face of the NYSE, this would be without a doubt the biggest national flag I have ever seen. Looks nice on the big castle though :).There is of course, the newer part of town, the beaches, the hotels, the casino(s?)... but so far I haven't ventured there. The beach, one can see easily enough. And I have to say, it looks very inviting... The one place I haven't been to yet, and do very much want to visit is the Convento de la Popa, a monastery perched rather precariously on top of the hill overlooking the city and the entire coastline! I imagine the view would be quite spectacular. Now if only I can figure out a proper time to go visit.Ah, and this of course would mark the sixth continent! Now if only they'd do something far enough off the bottom of this continent, might just manage a peek at Antarctica :D.

Currently: idling
Listning to: Audioslave - Heaven's dead

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