It was an interesting bus ride from Santa Marta to Cartagena. A lot of water on both sides of the road. On the right hand side, there was the Caribbean Sea and big marshes on the left hand side with a lot of pelicans and egrets. A lot of people live in these marshes. Did not look too comfortable to live there.
Once we arrived in Cartagena, we took one of these mini buses from the bus terminal to the town. Again: Friendly Colombians. We had basically no idea where to get off and would have probably have gotten right into nowhere. But the bus driver stopped at the entrance to the old town and waited until we realized that he just stopped for us. So friendly!
We just dropped our bags in the nice hostel and went into the old part of town. Cartagena is a really beautiful old colonial city, and very well preserved. Especially in the evening, it is very romantic to stroll through the narrow streets, enjoy the view of the colonial house, and have a look in all the small shops.
@NTE: Would have loved to stroll around the streets with you. Hand in hand!
It was a good decision to visit the old part of the town directly on the first evening, because the next two days it was not allowed to drink any alcohol because there was an election of the local governor on the upcoming Sunday. Don’t ask me, why you are not allowed to drink to two days before an election. But apparently that is how it works in Colombia. Side effect of this prohibition was that all the small shops were closed and almost no one was around in the old town these two days. So Saturday was a very relaxed day: Jump into the pool, relaxing on the canvas chair, back into the pool :-)
The whole Sunday was filled with stories about the colonial times. What a time: Pirates, onslaughts, the power of the church. It is amazing to see how big the influence of the old world on the new world was. Aside from old cathedrals, there is a very impressive fortress. They had really good audio guides there, so for a few hours I was a soldier running through some old defense tunnels. Scary. Glad, that I live today! In the evening, we attended a mass. Wonderful guitar music with vocals. And really nice, that people all over the world are praying for peace and wishing it each other.
All in all, Cartagena was quite a luxury time. Beautiful city, good food, impressive history lessons and a cool hostel with a lot of time to relax. Yeah!
Peace and joy for all of you!