After a quite long bus ride from Minca, we arrived in Cartagena early afternoon.
We heard so many beautiful things about this colorful, colonial city, that we were impatient to discover more with our own eyes. Ignoring the tempting – in the overwhelming heat – hotel’s swimming pool, we made a beeline to the historical old town.
The old town is surrounded by the city wall & the main entrance is the clock tower.
As you step inside, you’ll find yourself in a colorful (touristy) market.
&, if you’re as lucky as we were, you’ll be welcomed by a funny parade!
We wandered the colorful, little streets…
…in search of something to eat!
Which wasn’t a difficult task, as Cartagena is full of food stalls…
The most famous of all being, undoubtedly, Miss Maria in plaza Santo Domingo!
With our arepas & our mangos in our hands, we continued wandering around.
The old city is really cute, everything is neat & well restored, but maybe a little too much: I felt a bit like at Disney village. I personally find other south-american colonial cities that are not so well preserved, much more charming…
The heat & humidity begun to really put us down, so we went to Café del Mar to rest with a fresh drink.
Café del Mar is a bar & restaurant that sits directly on the city wall. From is terrace you can enjoy a beautiful view over the sea & the new city of Cartagena. Moreover, there’s music, a nice atmosphere & a little breeze 😉
As the sun begun to go down on the horizon, we went to Las Bovedas, an arcade structure that was once used as a prison & now houses several art & craft shops.
Back in the centre, we realized how music & dancing were really everywhere!
We watched dancers in the beautiful Bolivar square.
Where we saw that beauty is truly another very important thing in South-America: on a side of Bolivar square there’s the beauty queens’ avenue, where all Colombian beauty misses are represented!
Continuing our tour, we came across a band playing & listened to some music too!
To have a walk after sunset in Cartagena really is a pleasure!!
Ceviches were not well seasoned & portions were too big (we couldn’t even finish it!), moreover plates were not even well presented, they served ceviches with a packet of crackers, like if we were at the college cafeteria! Look for yourself…
Disappointed by our dinner, we went to Pasteleria Mila for pudding.
The reputation of this tearoom is well established & cakes were delicious indeed!
Happy again – there’s hardly any problem that chocolate can’t solve! – we walk back to our hotel.
The hotel I chose, Hotel Boutique La Artilleria, was in Getsemani neighborhood, just outside the historical centre.
As we discovered the morning after, Getsemani was a much nicer place than the historical centre, in our opinion. It surely is much less preserved, but it’s also much more real! There are less tourists & more local people, the streets are alive & it doesn’t look like a museum city!
I’ll show you more tomorrow! 🙂