Finally South America!
After an early start at 3 am and two flights, we arrived in Cartagena, North Colombia.
The city looks similar to Panamá City, has some modern places, slums and an old part like Casco Viejo but is much bigger. The center of the city is beautiful and full of life.
It's cool to walk around the streets, discover the alleys and to shop at the local shops.
Cartagena is located in North Colombia, on the Caribbean coast and is the capital of the Bolivar Department.
The city was founded in 1533 and has more than 970 000 residents on an area of 572km². Cartagena is the fifth biggest city in Colombia and bigger than Panama City.
The old center of the city which is at the port, North of Cartagena, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The center is divided into the quarters "El Centro", "San Diego" and "Getsemaní".
In total, we stayed three days in Cartagena.
The streets in "El Centro" and "San Diego" are more beautiful than Casco Viejo and they still have the Spanish colonialism architecture. Therefore, the city is full of big tourist groups and locals who want to sell sunglasses, hats, fruits or drinks. In every house, there is a little shop or a good restaurant. On the streets, retailers are trying their luck as well.
The quarter "Getsemaní" is less beautiful but full of locals and the streets are more alive. There are a lot of tasty local restaurants which are a lot cheaper than in the rest of the city.
The fort "Castillo de San Felipe de Barajas" is the biggest of the Spanish colonies.
Some information: They started to build the fort 1536 to protect the city and finished it 150 years later. The castle is located on the hill of San Lázaro. Nobody, neither pirates or Englishmen, took the fort. Since 1984 it's UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The fort is only one kilometer away from the Center and many tourists want to visit itl. The Castillo de San Filipe de Barajas is not comparable to a castle in Europe. Besides the wall and the tunnel system, there is only a short video in a tiny room with information about the fort. The fort is huge but not beautiful.
A quarter century
As it was the 12. January, it was my birthday and thanks to Laura, I had a great day.
For the first time, I had - instead of minus degrees and snow - 32•C and a whole day of sun. We slept long, enjoyed our daily breakfast with plenty of fruits and went to visit the fort.
After that, we went to have tasty local lunch and delicious ice cream. We spent the afternoon relaxing at our hostel before we went out again. As a birthday gift, we went to a concert with typical Colombian music the next day. Great gift!
Cartagena is really touristic.
Nevertheless, I liked it.
The old part of the city is big and full of life. It was nice to run around and to take pictures of the street and the people.
It was also interesting to shop or eat in local restaurants.
However, walking around at night didn't feel so safe.
The fort was a bit disappointing and too expensive.
Thanks to Laura I had a beautiful birthday!
Same same but different view