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Cartagena, Colombia Part 2: The Walled City of Old Cartagena
Warmest greetings to all fellow readers, as promised I will continue my sharing my experience visiting the Walled City of Old Cartagena. You can log on to my username: Matterhorn, in case you have missed Cartagena, Colombia part 1.
In continuation from my previous article…….
The next morning, before the congress starts, I took the opportunity to join a small group of delegates for a short visit to a nearby Cartagena’s tourist attraction. We managed to grab some useful brochures and some important tips from the customer service counter before we start our visit. Our first destination was Plaza San Pedro Claver which was located inside the Walled City of Old Cartagena.
Plaza San Pedro Claver
Upon reaching our destination, I noticed we were required to journey past the security post before entering the plaza. One of the group members raised the concern about safety issues, the taxi driver politely assures us that we were safe as long as we stayed within the strongly guarded Walled City.
After getting out of the taxi, our mini-tour begins with the Plaza of San Pedro Claver. The first few sights that caught my attention were the high secure walled, metal sculptures, and colorful buildings all around. I felt excited and managed to take a few nice photo shots of those interesting people, structures, and scenery that I have come to encounter. Suddenly, I saw there were 2 bronze statues at the center of the plaza and I remembered from the short glance on the brochure that I took from the hotel. It was the statue of San Pedro Claver ministering to a slave and there was others metal sculpture beside the 2 bronze sculptures, like that metal sculpture playing chess.
I also noticed the surrounding was being beautified by many colorful colonial buildings with overhanging balconies. The structures were painted with a bright and vibrant color such as dark yellow, dark blue, medium orange, pure white which easily attracts tourist attention, and I think these colors look suitable to Colombian hot and humid temperature.
Then we continued our tour following the direction shown in the brochure until we reached San Pedro Claver Church. We decided to go into the church for a brief visit, my newly met Syrian friend was busy take few pictures for remembrance.
After San Pedro Claver Church, we reached a small garden square. It looks like an entertainment venue, there were many street art performers, a beautiful song sung by the singers filled the morning serene atmosphere then I saw there were many colorfully dressed ladies walking around with a bowl of tropical fruits balanced on their heads. I managed to ask for permission from one of the ladies for a snap, she happily posed for me, and after I have finished taking her photo suddenly she held out her hand asking for payment. At first, I was caught by a surprise but later I quickly grab a small tip for her. The lesson learned from that incident was that I should be more observant to know maybe that was the decent way how they earn money for a living.
There were many souvenirs shop alongside the street towards our last destination, The Plaza Santo Domingo. We stopped by one of the shops, and I bought a small handmade souvenir for 6 USD for my traveling collection.
Plaza Santo Domingo
Finally, we reached our last destination for that morning. Plaza Santo Domingo was one of the tourist attractions that was also located inside the vicinity of the Walled City, I discovered the business activity there were much more active compared to Plaza San Pedro. Some shops offer food and drinks services apart from shops selling local handmade souvenirs. While my two new friends were busy getting themselves occupied, I was also busy adjusting my camera to take a view of a statue that lies at the center of the plaza. A scene of a cute, chubby naked woman lying on her right side. Later, I only come to know from the receptionist who worked at Hilton hotel that was the statute of La Gorda Gertrudis, the iconic statute of Plaza Santo Domingo.
My Walled City tour at the Old Cartagena town comes to an end that late morning, as we need to rush back to the hotel for the congress plenary opening speech that afternoon. I will conclude my Cartagena’s trip in my next article, Cartagena, Colombia (End): The Blessed Trip.