Cartagena y México City

Las Murallas are the protective walls of Cartagena de Indias, Colombia.

They started building them around the end of the 16th century, and took almost 200 years to finish.

Inside the 12 kilometres of walls the old city is full of grand buildings and more modest buildings.

There is elegant, as well as garish with graffiti.

Looking at the Caribbean Sea from the top of the wall.

Looking across to the Bahia de las Animas to huge new hotels and condos

Fossils in the rocks

And of course, gates to the old city.

Puerta del Reloj was the main gateway to the inner walled town. There used to be a moat and drawbridge.

The clock was added in 1888.

Convento and Iglesia de San Pedro Claver

Plaza de Bolivar

Basílica Santa Catalina de Alejandría 1575-1612

Plaza San Domingo

Palenqueras posing for photos. They are from the nearby town of Palenque which was ruled by runaway African slaves.

In 1691 they signed a royal decree stating the town’s independence from Spain.

It was a poor town so the women carried fruit into Cartagena to sell. Tough and resilient women. And a symbol of Colombia.

Hats, hats, hats. The sun is brutal here.

There are as many vendors as tourists.

In ten minutes I could have bought a hat, sunglasses, cigars, jewelry, a dress, water, magnets, maracas, beer, ice cream, a purse, a tablecloth, juice, cigarettes, sunscreen, a painting…

Inside the wall was an interesting round building.

I didn’t expect it to be flashy new mall!

Same efficient dedicated lane bus system as I’ve seen through the cities here.

When it’s this hot and muggy, cold food is best!

5 pesos (Cdn$1.44) for a big cup of mixed fruit.

And shrimp everyday at the coctelería.

Ceviche or shrimp cocktail were 23,000 pesos (Cdn$6.65) for a medium size which I could barely finish.

One day I did go to a restaurant but it was disappointing.

Fresh lemonade was good. You can order it without sugar.

I expected a piece of shark in coconut and chili but it was shredded.

I was in an old colonial house hotel with only six rooms. It was only a short walk to the old city and the beach, but protected from the traffic noise.

The pool was the highlight.

Then a flight to Mexico City with a change of plane in Panama City.

Next time I’ll take advantage of that and spend some time there.

I’ve been up and down both coasts of Mexico, but never this far inland.

Mexico City is huge but I’m not going out of the centre.

The huge Zocalo.

Catedral Metropolitana de la Ciudad de México (1749-1768) is the largest in Latin America.

One chapel was open.

Mexico City is amazingly clean, and not just in the ‘tourist area’.

Palacio de Bellas Artes

Alameda Central Park is a huge green space.

Monument for the 1985 earthquake that killed over 10,000 people.

I saw a church off in the distance.

But up close it was sad and abandoned.

Rectory de Nuestra Señora de Lourdes


I was headed to La Merced, the oldest and biggest market. On the way there the streets were full of shops selling everything. There was a whole street selling fabric, with one shop just for zippers.

Then the street of party decorations.

And stationary and art supplies, with the resident artist.

Then there was a huge number of stalls selling plaster baby Jesus in different colours and sizes. And clothing, accessories and chairs. As well as repair stalls.

At the market I entered at snacks, went past socks to singer.

The street food is phenomenal! Every two meters there is something interesting.

Watching the meat layers get added.

He was wrapping the chopped cooked meat in tortillas to fry as flautas.

Taco stands selling a variety of fillings.

I had two brisket tacos and a beer for 80 pesos (Cdn$5.65)

I like how the waiters give you a heads up on the spicing of the sauces.

For lunch I had a huarache (large taco) 35 pesos (Cdn $2.50).

I watched her press and fry the tortilla, then top with beans, lettuce, onion and chicken.

Two different salsas to play with as you eat it with your hands until you can fold it. Learn by watching others!

Another fresh made tortilla as a quesadilla filled with two meats and cheese. 50 pesos (Cdn$3.50) because it was deluxe.

Nice to have an new option besides eggs for breakfast at the hotel.

Chilaquiles – fried pieces of tortilla with red sauce, crema, cheese and beef. Not too spicy but enough for breakfast!

I’m going to miss the food here.

I’ve seen many incredible things in my three months in South America.

But it’s time to fly home. And get an overdo haircut!

6 thoughts on “Cartagena y México City

  1. You had me at fossils in the rocks, fruits, a store with fabrics and one of all zippers. Lost me at ears, snout and brains!
    It looks like a marvellous trip Les. I cannot believe how three months have drifted by so quickly. Lots of wonderful photos to soak up memories of your travels.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Wow what an incredible journey! Thank you for sharing every step of it with fabulous photos and commentary.
    Prepare yourself for cooler weather on your return home. I am sure you will take some time to acclimatize. You are no doubt going to miss the numerous street vendors with their delicious fresh offerings as well.
    What an exciting adventure you have had.
    I look forward to seeing you soon to hear more.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Donna! It was a great trip!
      I arrived in Vancouver late last night, and I’m at the Tsawwassan ferry terminal now. The cooler weather feels good! See you tomorrow.


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