Cartagena, Columbia

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There are two cities here. The old city built by the Spanish in 1586 and surrounded by a ring of massive walls. Modern metropolis describes the other. I often wonder when I see buildings that are close to 500 years old, how long the Canyon Country developments will stand.

“You’ll love this house, sir; it’s only 350 years old and has such a quaint heating system.”

There was a lot of noise outside our stateroom this morning. Movement of many chairs, hammering, and recorded music stirred us to sitting positions, and I took a look.dsc00076.JPG

Most mornings we have ordered muffins, croissants and coffee from room service. This morning we went to breakfast. Wow, have we been missing out. There is a vast variance (my brother will grimace at that alliteration) of choice including but not limited to Southern fried peaches and cream bread pudding; egg in a hole; and a melt in your mouth baked banana thing. There is a sign naming each dish along the serving area, but none for the banana thing. Michael asked the server behind the counter what it was called. He said, “I have no idea!” nor did any one else. Except for the standard breakfast fare, eggs, pancakes, waffles, yogurt, and cereals, etc., the menu differs daily. From now on, it’s breakfast in the Windows Café.

When we got back to our cabin a crowd was gathering and filling the chairs. dsc00080.JPGIt developed that Miss Columbia was being chosen there were contestants from numerous cities, and the runway was long, and it was hot and humid. The first Miss something got lots of applause as she traveled to the end of the raised runway area and back. The last contestant of the numerous nubile nominees (hey Bro) got little recognition. You can’t clap and fan yourself at the same time.

Miss Columbia was picked, crowned, and the whole structure packed away before we set sale at 2:30 PM.

Security was omnipresent; dsc00077.JPGimg_2546.JPGhowever our port safe and sound security boat didn’t quite live up to its pretensions. Later in the day the “guard” was asleep in the bottom of the boat.dsc00079.JPG

We had visited Cartagena before and Michael was shopped out, so I wrote while she took some photos. Later, I grabbed a brochure from the excursion desk and discovered a small duty free shop at the end of the pier. Although we had decided to stay on board, we took the shuttle to the shop just for something to do. Michael was not shopped out.img_2547.JPG It was fun, though, to see her negotiate 20% off at a fixed price venue.

The Restaurant Manager, when we asked about the dish of humus, butter, and red pepper pesto offered with different breads and rolls, said people had cut down on butter, but still wanted something for their bread. img_2552.JPGThis is a brilliant solution. One bite of roll and Michael has emptied the humus.

We enter the Panama Canal tomorrow, drop off the tour takers (Bro); and then go back through the locks to tie up at Colon pier. There, according to my information, is the biggest shopping mall, well at least longest, for countries around. I hope Michael can sleep tonight.

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