Saturday, 28 March 2015

Cartagena de Indias

Cartagena is a city found on the coastal region of the Caribbean sea and has a colourful history of invasions, pillaging and pirates. These days it is an important port city and has a bustling vibe with a mixture of locals selling wares of every kind in the outer town to the designer shops and expensive cars which can be found in Unesco World Heritage site of the old town. 

Staying in the San Diego area we were only a short walk from the famous city walls which line the coast. Originally built in the 17th century to prevent attacks on the port, the wall which stretches 11km is now a go-to spot for locals enjoying a romantic stroll and families to congregate in the evenings. With a few beers we headed to the wall to watch the sunset which was a really special moment. 

The streets are lined with towering colonial buildings painted in the country's colours; most of which have blooming bougainvillea streaming from the balconies. By day they sit pretty in the blazing sun but by night they come alive with bars and restaurants of all kinds; Argentine, Peruvian, Cuban and even Russian themes are played out to the fullest. We chose a Cuban bar in a leafy suburban square to enjoy a Cuba Libre or two. Horse drawn carts pull tourists round the area and cheap street food can be found at pop up stalls on every corner. Although our stay was only short and there are not many sights to see, Cartagena definitely captured our imagination and it is easy to see why it is called the 'Queen of the Caribbean Coast.'