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Yellow Cartagena. P.1

Mike Seryakov • 6 minutes read • February 14th, 2017
What comes to your mind first when you hear the word Columbia? Colombian coffee, Christopher Columbus, Shakira, the Colombian mafia and drug cartels. Everything is really like that: the country has one of the best coffee on the planet, owes its name thanks to the discoverer of America, and yes, Colombia is one of the leaders in the export of cocaine around the world.

Meanwhile, I offer to leave the stereotypes alone and look at that country from a very different point of view. From the tourist one. Beautiful beaches, the sea, the sun, the climate! There is one more thing! This is a charming word


known first of all thanks to the "Romancing the Stone" movie. Do you remember Cartagena Hotel in Cartagena?)
I came to the Colombian port of Cartagena on a cruise ship. Early in the morning I went on a deck and saw a modern waking up city.
Skyscrapers, yachts - it looked like American Miami.
After coming in the port, tourists harry to an information booth: to get free city maps and mini-guides. I prefer not to crowd in the queue, and look around. By the way, if someone thinks that a cruise is a holiday of the elderly, it is only partly true. There are also many young beautiful women on the ship.
Ocean cruise liner is securely attached by ropes to buoys. Tourists went in the city.
Pink flamingos meet vacationers in the port. 
This brazen parrot tried to bite my mom).
You'll be offered a bunch of tours on the ship, but I advise everyone to take a car with a driver. Firstly, it is much more convenient - you are not limited and can adjust the route and length of stay at different points. Secondly, if there are three of you, for example, then the tour around the city by taxi will cost cheaper than organized tours.

I found my taxi driver pretty quickly. There are many of them at the parking lot. I asked "Hablas ingles?" and Jose confidently replied "si, si, un poquito". He almost did not dissemble, he really knew only a dozen of English words. As for me, this is not a problem for the traveler. Let us recall the Spanish.)

This is Convento Santa Cruz de la Popa. You can see the whole city from here. This poster says, "si no has subido la Popa, no ha visto a Cartagena". "If you do not climb the Popa, then you have not seen Cartagena".)
This place offers an amazing view of the city. Skyscrapers...
and shacks, of course.
Someone in the monastery collects banknotes of different countries.
Let's go in the city. Colombian


, in fact, is Cartagena de Indias, or "Indian Cartagena". Because there is also Cartagena in Spain, after which this Colombian city was named.

Streets of Cartagena.
The Indian tribes of the Caribs and Arawaks who worshiped gold used to live here previously. The Spaniards arrived, looked at it and annexed Cartagena. Indians were killed or enslaved, and the gold began to be slowly sent to the king in Madrid. However, this life is not so simple. Someone was indignant at this fact: why all the gold goes to the Spaniards? It's unfair. The British and French pirates began to visit the city from time to time. The Spaniards built the

San Felipe Fortress

for protection.
However, a small clarification. The Spaniards didn't want to build the fortress on their own, and for this purpose they attracted migrant workers or the Indians. In order to improve the economic efficiency of enterprises, workers were barely fed and forced to work 14 hours a day.
But the plan failed, the Indians didn't like to work "for food". They started to die very quickly one after the other. The Spaniards needed some innovation to solve this problem. It was not long in coming.
They began to bring workers from Africa for the construction of the fortress. Their physical condition was more productive than the Indians one. Fortress appeared to be inaccessible.
Let's continue (Yellow Cartagena. P.2)!
Author: Mike Seryakov
Translated by: Olesya Zhukova

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