A late entry for this patiogirl. Chris & I set sail from Ft. Lauderdale, on Holland America’s Eurodam for an 11-day Southern Caribbean cruise. Besides the eating, drinking, napping, drinking and other activities on board, I always look forward to the history and culture each island offers. With visits to Bahamas, Aruba, Curacao, Columbia, Costa Rica and Panama, here are highlights from 3 of the ports.
Our journey through the Panama Canal, one of the 7 Wonders of the World, began at 5:00am, waiting in a queue for our turn. This man-made canal, connects the Atlantic Ocean and Pacific Ocean. Very exciting to have a front row seat and witness the precision of navigating the ship through the locks.
The Queen Emma Bridge, called by the locals as the “swinging lady” , is a floating Bridge, connecting the Punda and Otrobanda districts in the Capital. This pedestrian Bridge creates an interesting photo op with the colorful houses that are seen by the bay.
Between 1901 and 1934 those that wanted to cross, had to pay 2 cents, unless you were barefoot, then it was free. The locals say the “rich” would loan their shoes to the “poor”, as they didn’t want to appear inferior and the “rich” didn’t want to pay the toll.
Over the bridge, the narrow streets of Punda, have beautiful painted murals by local artist. Vibrant colors give this area a Caribbean vibe. Often the art is used as landmarks when giving directions instead of the street names.
Looking forward to visit the Old City of Cartagena in Columbia, was not to be because of increased crime with tourists so we enjoyed the the bird sanctuary at the cruise port entrance. Parrots, peacocks, flamingos and monkeys roam the area. Flowers and fauna and the caws of the many birds was a sight to see and hear. Columbia mines and produces the most emeralds for the global market, so a perfect opportunity to purchase my favorite kind of souvenir at the gift shop.