Sunday, October 04, 2009


Fried Potato Salad

How about a fist full of Fried Potato Salad? This treat is locally known as a Papas Relleno (potato roll). These delicious baseball to softball sized snacks can be found just about everywhere around Cartegena. Surrounding a hardboiled egg is chopped potatoes held together by ????, then the whole mass is coated with corn meal and deep fat fried.
The state & county fairs in the USA should add this to their "fried everything" menu! Although I only pay about 50 cents to 75cents for one here in Colombia, I'd gladly pay much more. Sure, they're ugly...but oh my! I consider this a full meal and generously drizzle salsa rosa (mayonaise mixed with ketchup and a little vinegar) over it.

A Cartegena day
Last week a few of us "ladies" gathered together for morning coffee and Spanish language-only chat at the ritzy Hotel Santa Clara. OK, so I mostly knit quietly and listened. My Spanish isn't as good as the other women's so all I could do is mutter "si' occasionally when I could understand the conversaion. Thank goodness for knitting. This photo is of the interior patio gardens of the hotel. Like so many buildings here, the exterior is rather plain, but once you pass through the entrance you come upon an open courtyard.
Toucans live in this courtyard and freely roam, sitting at nearby tables as seen here in this picture. Also notice the attentive security guard, waiter and hotel staff. At the higher end establishments, staff wait and watch you to anticipate your needs. Nothing like the rushed atmosphere of restaurants in the states! Labor is so cheap here.

So, after we drank enough coffee and played with the toucans we headed back out to the streets for a walk about town. With us was Isabella, a facinating local woman who openly shares her time and knowledge of Colombia with us. Our next stop was a university of the arts - music. Now, as tourists, we wouldn't have dared enter the building, but Isabella felt quite comfortable doing so.

So much was going on there! Students were playing all sorts of instruments in the hallways, singing, and socializing. here is a photo of the upstairs hall which surrounds an open courtyard. The two women are fellow cruisers Ellen and Marilyn. And this is the charming Isabella with the University's courtyard in the background. Aren't the building's details lovely?

Here is a marvelous window in one of the music studios. As is true with most of the Latin American countries I've visited, lights are not turned on in the daytime. So it is quite dark (and cooler) in the buildings, but it does help to accent the beautiful windows. In this photo a blind vocal instructor is working with a student. In another alcove, we found an instructor working with a student on the violin. Again, the contrast between the dark corridor and the bright window was striking. As I watched, the instructor motioned for me to try to play the violin! Yikes! I haven't touched a violin since grade's proof that I gave it a go. Just a few notes played and no squawks.
As we again wandered the streets, I couldn't help but notice all the doors. Doors that led to what? What enchanting gardens, beautiful homes, or offices hide behind those doors? In some parts of town, there is nothing behind the doors. Nothing at all...just an open weed-filled space. The door hides the fact that the property is in disrepair. I know, because I peep through the cracks.

But other doors are freshly waxed or
painted and you can see that they are entered often. What is unusual is that there are little doors about 5 feet tall cut into the larger doors. It appears that these are the doors that are used for daily entering & exiting. Then, there sometimes is a tiny door about 6" square covered by grillwork in the small door. This must be the peep/talk hole.

Ah ha! A little door left ajar...and a quick peek of the garden beyond.

So, I've had another boat injury - I broke my little toe. I have to blame knitting. Really. See, I was knitting and suddenly realized that I needed a tool. I dashed across the salon and caught my little toe in a doorway just as the boat lurched from a wake from a tour boat. Ouch! Oh well, could have been worse...could have been a knitting finger!

The windows and doors are interesting studies and subject for future forays into textile creations.

Poor toe! Sorry!
Sorry to hear about your toe but as you say it could have been a knitting finger.hope it heals soon.
Thank you for the tour - it was fascinating.

I can't help wondering about the acoustics at the music school with all those hard surfaces.

I'll bet those big doors with little doors are really heavy. The little door would be easier to manage by one person.
I love all the different doors that I see in your blog and other blogs of people who visit Latin America.

Hope the pinky toe is better soon, btw... you can knit with a broken pinky finger, it just sticks out. Kind of like a Southern Belle drinking tea would hold her pinky.
The fried potato looks disgusting! I will take your word for it, that it is good. I like potatoes and eggs so i would probably like it.

Love the window! Gorgeous!
What beautiful pictures from that part of the world. Such history...
That potato roll looks kind of like a Scotch egg- only potato instead of sausage.
Beautiful pictures!!!!! I love the flowers hanging in the alley ways soooo pretty!
First.....injured!!!! stop, walk and look...... NO injuries allowed. Gosh, I hope that you are alright now......
The fried potato salad looks grouse but actually sounds great. I think I will try it and see. Thanks
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