It will be a short port day today – we don’t dock until 9:45am (guests get clearance at 10:30am to depart the ship) and we are due back on board by 4:00pm.
Still, a new place is always desired, and this trip did not have many – the stop in Nicaragua was cancelled, the one to Panama City was replaced by Huatulco Mexico, so the Canal will have to count as visiting Panama – so I’m excited to have a chance today: Cartagena, Colombia!
I’m on a small group tour with our tour guide, Ingrid. She takes us to see the highlights of Cartagena.
We visit Conventa de la Popa, the Fortress, and wander the old city, including passing by the more famous churches and museums, checking out the architecture, and the city wall. And of course, we get a little shopping stop as well.
The street sellers are out and about with their trinkets and the crowd is often a throng, between 4 ships in port and a protest planned for the afternoon- but we feel safe at all times. Still, when we are more likely to be more aggressively pursued by street vendors, where the crowds might be a bother, she tells us to follow her more closely so she can navigate us past the busiest areas more efficiently.
They also take us for a lunch at a local outdoor eatery. Fortunately there’s a canopy against the sun, and a breeze off the water. It’s a lovely spot and a lovely meal.
Then we make our way back to the ship, through the aviary and shopping center at the port.
I have a wonderful time in town, and the small group tour is absolutely a win! But it’s hot outside so a return to the ship, where a shower and a change of clothes await me, makes this travel day perfect.