|Gate to the old town|
|Wandering around the narrow streets|
The city walls are filled with narrow streets, colourful buildings, brightly painted street art and big shady squares. It’s incredibly hot and humid so we were grateful for the cold air conditioning in our hotel room – the first we’ve had in a while and feels like a real treat!
|View from the city walls|
The best itinerary in Cartagena is to drop all sightseeing plans and get lost wandering around the streets of the old town. We walked miles in the shady streets, popping into shops and cafes for a Colombian coffee and some air conditioning, and strolling along sections of the city walls, taking in the city views.
|City walls and sailing boat|
|Strolling around the walls|
People’s homes also used to be marked with a symbol if they were one of certain occupations – usually the door knocker is in the shape of one of the following animals to represent the following professions:
- Lion – works for the king
- Iguana – rich/noble people
- Owl – doctor
- Mermaid – Sailor
- Dolphin – Fisherman
|A rich person used to live here...|
We stayed in Getsemani, a ten-minute walk outside the centre and a popular location for backpackers. It’s a vibrant area with lots of great bars and cafes and generally the standard of food here is really good. We found a lovely café for breakfast with three resident cats, which serves the best banana pancakes (even better than mine!)
|Street art in Getsemani|
We’ll return to Cartagena in a week or so, ready for our flight back to Cancun before we fly home, but in the meantime, we decided to explore some more of the Caribbean coast and headed north to Minca in the Sierra Nevada mountains.
|Minca, in the mountains|
We spent a couple of nights there and did a spot of hiking to nearby ‘Pozo Azul’ waterfall for a swim, but our day’s adventure got prematurely cut short when the heavens opened and we got soaked through. So much for 100% waterproof Goretex shoes if they get so full of water that you’re squelching around in them!
After a brief stop in Minca, we’re now in Palomino and I’ll fill you in on our adventures here in the next blog post.