Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Old Stuff and Fun Stuff

We made two port stops in Mexico on our way south. We'd flown to Puerto Vallarta years ago and the view of Walmart from the port was not awe inspiring. Huatulco was a small port that was scheduled to have 38 cruise ship visits this year. Of course, the day we were there, there were two ships in port!

The town wasn't anything special, but they had some beautiful pocket bays. Playa el Violin was part of a conservation area and was totally deserted when I visited.

As we planned for our trip, my thoughts and reading were centered around the Panama Canal. We'd reviewed the list of ports, but frankly, I gave very little thought to the history of the places we would visit. That volcanoes would greet us in Guatemala was not a surprise.

Antigua, Guatemala is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. "Founded in the early 16th century, Antigua was the capital of the Kingdom of Guatemala and its cultural, economic, religious, political and educational centre until a devastating earthquake in 1773. Its principal monuments have been preserved largely as ruins and are an excellent example of Spanish colonial architecture."

Even the newer architecture was old for this west coast guy. I loved the yellow color. This town was full of churches - some just ruins but many others still in use. This building had been a convent. The arch was designed to allow the nuns to cross the street without going outside.

This was my favorite church in Antigua. Turns out, the sister of a friend now lives in an apartment directly behind this church. Small world!

The cathedral in Leon, Nicaragua was large and imposing, but wasn't yellow so it lost points.

This church was very popular with the pigeons! I was trying to get a picture of the statue holding up the beam and didn't really notice the birds until later.

The tour included a tour of the roof so I was able to get a closer picture of the statue (and BJ).
In Costa Rica we decided to ignore history or coffee and go for the gusto. We didn't realize that our choice rated as one of National Geographic's Top Ten Adventures in 2015

All suited up and ready to go. We would enjoy an open air tram up the mountain,

and ten zip lines back down. It really was LOTS of fun.

We didn't stop in Panama but took most of the day transiting the canal. Our next port was Cartagena, Columbia. This place was a mixture of incredible history and historic structures and a tropical, metropolitan city. Once the headquarters of the Spanish fleet, the town withstood numerous attacks.

The fortifications were impressive.

Once again, yellow was predominate as were the churches.

The narrow streets made it impossible to get the pictures I wanted. I'm thinking a drone would have been handy.

As we traveled through some of these historic cities, I fell in love with the doors, to the point that the next blog post will be nothing but doors!

Last stop before our arrival in Fort Lauderdale was Half Moon Cay in the Bahamas. The island is owned by CCL, the corporate parent of Holland America, Carnival, Princess, Cunard, P&O, and others.

The sign says it all!


  1. Why so fast?? I want a post per country, please. ;-)

    1. The problem with cruises is that you get a bite of frosting but no cake. There were AT LEAST three countries that I really wanted to spend much more time, but what you see is what you get.

  2. I second Suzanne's motion. Thinking about this cruise for next year in the reverse direction. Need more info....

    1. Loved the cruise but it's only a fleeting moment. I'd really like to go back to Guatemala, Panama, and Columbia and spend more time. Too bad you can't break a cruise in the middle for a couple weeks! Ask away with questions.

    2. I have spent time in all three, and I concur with your choices. I think of the three, I was most fascinated with Colombia, particularly Medellin with its elaborate cable car system that goes up and up and up, and Bogota's gold museum. I had a lot of fear going in, based on the horror stories, but left wanting more, more, more! Your pictures are really gorgeous...("a bite of frosting but no cake." Good one!)

  3. I believe I was on the same cruise as you! :) Blessings, Lynn (fellow blogger)