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Colombia Travel book

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S: Cartagena and Bogotá 2010

BC: Cartagena and Bogotá, Colombia

FC: Colombia February 2010

1: We stayed in Andrés' parents home | It was in a beautiful high-rise next to the beach | Cartagena

2: Many strolls on the beach where Linda hunted for seashells and Jim sampled the locals fresh seafood offerings

7: We took a chiva around the City | Thankfully the guide spoke English!

8: We spent a lot of time at Castillo de San Félipe de Barajas which covers a 130 foot tall hill

9: This is Colombia's largest colonial fort tower started in 1639 and completed in 1762 | It was named in honor of Spain's King Philip IV

10: The fortress is built of red brick and concrete. The stone blocks used to build the castle were said to be splattered with the blood of slaves.

11: It was designed so even if one part of the fortress fell to invaders (which never happened), the defenders could fire from another part

12: A complex matrix of tunnels run throughout the fortress to allow supplies to be distributed

13: The tunnels were all constructed in such a way as to make it possible to hear footsteps of an approaching enemy

14: Metal statue sitting in the sun is HOT! | Los Zapatos Viejos (Old Shoe Monument) built in honor of Luis Carlos Lopez, a famous poet

15: In the Plaza de Bolívar with the fountain and statue of Simón Bolívar who lead Colombia to independence

16: Statue India Catalina | Plaza de San Pedro Claver | Iglesia de San Pedro Claver | Making a wish

17: Part of the old city walls (La Ciudad Amurallada) | Torre del Reloj (the Clock Tower) is the entrance to the walled city

18: Plaza de los Coches

22: Hotel Sofitel Santa Clara dates back to 1621, a beautiful place to have cocktails

23: We had a wonderful time with Junior and Deydre | They showed us all around the city and helped Kristen find a beautiful emerald ring (Colombia is famous for emeralds!)

25: Evening carriage ride around the city | We all did our best to communicate | Junior speaks a little English and Deydre none | The Spanish English dictionary was used a lot!

27: Cartagena has street art through the city

29: We loved Cartagena and would go back anytime!

30: Bogotá

32: Andrés Carne de Res is famous for its food and nightclub atmosphere. We ate, drank, and danced. Linda discovered a new yummy fruit and Kristen fell in love with a cheesy dessert. | Their specialty is lomo al trapo (beef tenderloin wrapped up with salt in a cotton cloth roasted on the embers)

35: Catedral de Sal de Zipaquirá is an underground Roman Catholic church which has as many as 3,000 attendees on Sundays | It is built within the tunnels of a salt mine 200 meters underground in a Halite mountain near the town of Zipaquirá

37: This is the second cathedral, the first was in 1932 | The second one opened in 1995, 200 feet under the old one

38: It is still a functioning salt mine and is the largest deposit of rock salt in the world. It has been nominated to be one of the seven wonders of the modern world

39: Beautiful sculptures are throughout the cavern including the Stations of Cross

40: This is a replica of sculpture by Michelangelo in marble which is called “the creation of man.”

42: Couples are wed in the chapel, there are also corporate meetings held within their "convention center" space

44: Holy family sculpture is just one of many Christian scenes depicted in the cavern

45: This was a really special place that you have to see to believe!

46: Monserrate is a mountain that dominates the city of Bogotá.

48: You can access the top by climbing (many pilgrams do this) or by a funicular. It is 10,341 feet above sea level

49: Fun fact: Andrés proposed to Liz here!

50: The church was built in the 17th century. People hike up to offer their prayers to "El Señor Caido"

56: Beautiful views of the city, we were very blessed! | Our tour guide claimed this was only the second time ever it had been this clear for her

57: Bogotá is the third highest capital city in South America and is known as the 'Athens of Latin America' | It has been named the Book Capital of the World, the library here has more visitors than even the NY Public Library

58: More than 34,000 gold pieces are displayed at the Museo del Oro in Bogotá

61: Dinner in Bogotá with Carla, Silvia and Diego

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