Wandering, wandering

We had meetings all morning and by the time we were finished, it was too late to catch one of the shore excursions. But I’ve never been in Cartagena before and my co-worker, Shannon, had never been on a cruise and didn’t want to sit on the ship all afternoon.  So we headed out, grabbing a map of the city center on our way.

We wandered through the narrow streets, took lots of pictures and stopped at one point to listen to a guy playing the accordion. We ended up on the top of the hill overlooking Cartagena among some Roman ruins, including an ancient flour mill where they were installing large metal black widow spiders. I couldn’t remember the word for spider (“aranda” – I remembered it as soon as it wasn’t useful anymore!) but we asked the young men doing the installation “porque” (why).  We got nothing from them – just a laugh and a nod of the head.

Then we wandered down off the hill to look at a big church that we had seen from the top of the hill. It was locked but when we peered inside there was a man sitting in a folding chair at the back of the pews and he came over and let us in. My Spanish is just good enough for me to ask him the name of the church and he gave us the name “Basilica de la Caridad” and a little of its history.

After that we walked a bit until we found a current excavation of some more Roman ruins. It was fascinating to see how everything is put back together during this kind of work and it was very interesting to see the artist renderings of what the building and rooms looked like in Roman times.

By then we had just enough time to buy a t-shirt for Shannon’s son and then get back to the ship. I’m sure we had a better time than if we had done a canned bus tour.

When have you wandered?

30 thoughts on “Wandering, wandering”

  1. Rise and Roam Baboons!

    I love to wander when I travel. A map, good shoes, and a walkable city is a version of heaven, as long as the walkable city has great coffee to sample. Gelato helps, too. When I travel to a city, I do like to buy a canned bus trip to get oriented to the landscape. After that, I am off on foot, VS-style.

    This strategy usually works well for me in most cities, European and American. I wandered through Chinatown in Philadelphia and San Franscisco, the old parts of Charleston SC and Savannah, GA, Rome’s sketchy areas, Oslo’s construction areas, and the art stalls in Paris. London was the exception. It is such an old-style city with the renaissance era neighborhoods, that I never could make much sense of it. We were only there several days, which was part of the problem. I did get oriented to the neighborhood where our hotel was located near Christopher Wren’s St. Paul Cathedral.

    Because we were short on time and Lou got sick, we opted for London’s dirt cheap taxis. That would get us to exactly where we wanted to go (Tate); however, I did not ever learn how to get there without the taxi. So does taking taxis for expedience fit the definition of wandering? Probably not.

    Liked by 4 people

  2. Yesterday we wandered from Spokane to Tacoma, moved all her stuff from our vehicles into her apartment, wandered up to an IKEA store in Renton, WA for a few furniture pieces for her, wandered back to Tacoma and unloaded the furniture boxes, assembled a storage unit for the kitchen, wandered to Duke’s Chowder House, and then collapsed in bed.

    Today we wander to Portland to see husband’s brother and family, and will wander to brunch on Sunday with Happy Valley Steve and family on Sunday.

    Liked by 4 people

      1. It started at 5:00 am and ended, finally, at 10:00 pm. Eastern Washington looks a lot like Western North Dakota. The Snoqualmie Pass was rainy, and it poured all day in Tacoma. It was warm and sunny here prior to our arrival.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I think my favorite city wandering would be in Avignon on our France trip (two years ago!). We arrived a day and a half before our scheduled river “cruise” (see https://trailbaboon.com/2015/09/11/the-cruise/ ), had reserved a room in a tiny centrally located inn. We had a ball exploring the old section of the city enclosed within the walls – found a flea market et al, ate out on a terrace, walked through the… WAIT. I just realized I never wrote about Avignon, and this deserves its own post.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. It was in the third grade. I went wandering along a mountain track, well equipped with a knapsack on my back. My companion was Valerie Valdara. I was happy.

    Liked by 6 people

  5. I am a wandering by nature. Sandy goes along with it. We wandered most of the back roads of NE MN . When I was doing business travel I would build in off time, often bringing Sandy. We/I wandered around CT, the Boston area, Barrow, Anchorage area, St. Louis, San Diego and east of it, Kansas, Nebraska,. We wandered the Black Hills on various trips, this area, the Driftless Country, Northern Wisconsin, the U.P., and more. Not foreign places. I have never even had a passport.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. We just spent the day wandering around in Rollingstone, a little town outside WInona, for our anniversary. Knew about Bonnie Ray’s Restaurant, and then we walked around and found the city park, spent an hour or so lying in the sun and/or reading. There were four orioles playing tag among the several trees in the park. Then we used back roads we’d never been on to get to Farmers Park, another fine place in the bluffs… didn’t find the morels I was hoping to find, but did snag some watercress in the stream. It was some of the best wandering I’ve done in a long time.

    Liked by 1 person

        1. On a friend’s private property near Northfield. And there’s a small stream on it that I know has watercress, just didn’t think of it at the time. I could kick myself.


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