Shopping local: Arts and Crafts in Cartagena, Colombia
Our Ship is fortunate to have Residents from 19 countries around the world. Residents local to the country of a port call are often very helpful in providing advice on touring, dining, and exploring locally. One of our Residents, a Colombian native, was very helpful in arranging an art walk tour in Cartagena during our stay there. Our first stop was in El Centro (Old City) where we walked along the ramparts.
The neighborhood was quite colorful.
We all fell in love with many of the local arts and crafts artifacts at Artesanias de Colombia — some of which are now decorating our apartments (and, in many cases, our heads). These items were all designed and hand made in Colombia, not China!
Some of the most interesting items included hand painted local birds and totems, handmade Colombian hats, hand woven beaded masks and baskets, and hand carved wooden sculptures.
The next day we returned to the neighborhood and had a delicious luncheon at La Vitrola (Victrola in English — they had an old Victrola record player in the lobby, after which the restaurant was named). The restaurant features contemporary Cuban cuisine, with fish, seafood and French-Caribbean flair. It was decorated with Old Havana photographs, whirring ceiling fans and swaying palm fronds. Several of us enjoyed some excellent local seafood dishes and highly recommend a visit.