The Traveler's Journal

Adventures, tales, stories and vignettes by travel writer James Patton Jones

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Saturday the 21st of April 2018 | PM Edition Published by JRAC, Inc.
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Previous Articles:

Columbia
Architecture in Columbia

England
To London via Train
A Bus to Stonehenge

France
A Flight to France
Normandy, Brittney and the Loire Valley
First Day in Paris
Walking Tours of Paris
Memories of Paris

Japan
Arrival in Tokyo
Subway Survival, Swords, Site-Seeing, and Sushi
A Week of Business Meetings, and Wonderful Food
Asakusa and Tokyo Tower
Mt. Fuji and Hakkone
Sony Building, Hibiya Park, Shopping

Mexico
Memories of Mexico

Switzerland
Swiss Excursion, Part I
Swiss Excursion, Part II

USA
Snow Camping in Yosemite

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Architecture in Columbia

The scent of fresh flowers waifs across the courtyard to greet my senses. The sun sparkles on the windows and dances on the seas of the port town of Cartagena de Indias, Colombia. Founded by the Spanish in 1533, Cartagena has long beckoned to the international traveler, often being referred to as the gateway to South America. Today it still beckons to travelers, in spite of Colombia having the highest kidnapping rate of any country in the world. Fortunately Cartagena is considered "safe", at least by Colombian standards. Beautiful Cartagena has been called a living museum of architecture from the 16th and 17th centuries. Here you find many beautiful examples of Spanish architecture, such as the photo below, showing a magnificent stone building I visited in the downtown area, each unique and illustrating the various architectural forms visible here.

   
   

[Title: "Example of Beautiful Archiecture of Cartagena"]

I continued my trek, being occasionally accosted by locals begging me to buy their wares: straw hats, painted gourd rattle/shakers, wood carvings. I resisted the urge to buy. I continued my search for a particular jewelry shop, where I had been told one could get very, very good deals on emeralds, if you purchased with American dollars. I was curious how good the prices actually were. Turns out that even with the "discounts" they were still more than my traveler's wallet could afford. Later, now sporting in a new straw hat, I boarded a bus for the long ride up the mountain to visit the much acclaimed La Popa Monastery. It was well worth the trip! From the monastery walls you could see down upon the whole city of Cartagena, and the harbor beyond. The architecture of the monastery itself was impressive: two stories tall with a central courtyard, the second floor had an interior walkway that circled the courtyard below. Blossoming flowers were everywhere, inside and out: reds, pinks, yellows, fuchsias, magentas, scarlets. Everywhere, enchanting your eyes, engulfing your body. That night I departed the city, continuing my quest for knowledge, my journey from place to place, with a painted gourd rattle in each hand.


[Title: "More Architecture in Cartegena"]


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--The Traveler



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