Published: May 4th 2010April 15th 2010
This is going to be a short entry, unlike me I know, but easier for you to read... Cartagena
is a beautiful colonial city in the northern part of Colombia. It offers a great old city narrow streets to stroll through, surrounded by immense wall, a reminder of by-gone days when Pirates hunted the city for its treasures and a great fort was built to defend it. Many of the houses in the old town are restored and are now home for shops selling souvenirs, jewelery or crafts, hotels and restaurants - making it a very nice place to walk around. On top there are many horse and carriages in the narrow colorful streets of the old town offering the tourists a different way of exploring this lovely area.
All in all we stayed 2 full days and 3 nights in Cartagena. As we were very tired from the boat trip, and had been away from home schooling, internet etc. for a few days - we took the time in the mornings to do these activities. In the afternoons, when it was cooler, we walked around in the old town. We have enjoyed looking at the
merchandise offered around, looking at the many fruit stalls, taking photos of the many restored and colorfully painted buildings, admiring the many statutes posted around the city (including one by the famous Colombian artist - Botero), feeding the pigeons with corn grains etc.
On one of the two afternoons we have ended the visit in the old town with half an hour tour with one of the horse carriages - it was something we owed the kids for a year already, ever since our visit to Seville (Spain) in April 2009... It was great fun - and at perfect timing as we have started the tour at dusk and so we have enjoyed both day time and sunset. As it became dark after sun set the coachmen lightened the candles in the side lamps. The ride took us also out of the walls along the beach and so we enjoyed a beautiful sunset.
As this is our first stop in Colombia, we had to start getting acquainted with the local food. So, we have extensively explored the many food and fruit stalls all around the old city. We even bought some: Arepa
, which is a kind of dow
with chees inside fried on a hot iron plate, some deep fried pastries with or without cheese or beef accompanied with white chees sauce. We had the local version of granizado (not exactly the same as the one we tried in Panama, but similar) and had a great freshly squeezed orange juice. We have also tried some of the local specialty home-made candies they sell at one of the main squares of the old city - most are made of coconut or a kind of sweet hardened caramel. They were too sweet for me, the boys were neither great fans of them, but Tal who had the candies with coffee enjoyed them very much.
From Cartagena, we took a morning bus to Taganga - this will come in our next entry.
For More of Cartagena Photos click here.
There are more photos below