Welcome to the country of Colombia. Number of U's in this word: NONE.
Even in the short amount of time I've been here, I have found a lot wrong with Cartagena:
1) It's not in Canada. (Seeing as I am Canadian.)
This hot, sultry city is charming. However its year-round humidity starts at 90% with minimum temperatures of 30C. But after you get over the fact that you are your own personal sweat lodge, you are quite comfortable walking around the colonial-style architecture of this culturally rich wonder.
Cartagena has an interesting history filled with many hardships. In the 16th century there were numerous pirate attacks made against Cartagena because it was the "storehouse" for gold before it was shipped to Spain. They built walls along the outside of the town as a defence against these attacks.
The biggest battle of all was in 1741, the successful defence made by none other than Spanish officer Blas de Lezo. He had already lost a leg, an arm, and an eye in previous battles. Poor bloke, he was not so good with the ladies. With only 2,500 men in nearly the same shape he was, he somehow triumphed against 25,000 English soldiers and their 186 ships. One might not find him handsome, but he most definitely proved himself to be handy. He lost his other leg and died in this battle, and is now regarded as the savior of Cartagena.
Permission to gloat. I lay on a boat in the sun for five days and didn't put sunscreen on once, hence I don't recall the last time I was this tan. Walking down the street, a man literally leapt to his feet and saluted me as I went by. Everyone gets catcalls, but how many times does a girl get that kind of prompt and disciplined attention, with my lack of military attire no less?
I left a towel out one night to dry and it was gone the next morning. I can officially say I've been robbed in Colombia.
On September 15, 2003, somewhere near an ancient ruin on a remote jungle-covered mountain in Colombia, eight tourists were kidnapped. After several months they were released unharmed, the kidnapping being the work of the Marxist guerilla army of Colombia. The area is known as Ciudad Perdida, Spanish for the Lost City. Despite this horrible event, the Lost City has become a very popular tourist attraction. To reach the entrance, you must climb up 1,200 stone steps. This is after you cross numerous rivers and hike 26 km of jungle terrain. In 2005, tourist hikes to the Lost City started up again and the area is now actively patrolled by the Colombian army. No further kidnappings have occurred. So if a person is to do the hike they must at least be aware that they are treading on the very same path, going to the exact same area as the people who were abducted. But that was a long time ago. So.