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// SEPTEMBER 2016
Unspoiled Beauty
Thessaloniki
Bogotá
Bogotá
Cartagena de Indias
Cartagena
Quito
Otavalo
Sigchos
Laguna de Quilitoa
Alausi
Sibambe
Alausi
Cuenca
Guayaquil
Frankfurt
Zipaquirá
Zero point
Quito
Cotopaxi National Park
El Nariz del Diablo

Cartagena


19nth of September
A mind journey back to time!!!

We arrived in the enchanting Cartagena de Indias, on Colombia’s Caribbean Coast, early in the afternoon, after a short flight with Latam Airlines, during which we were enjoying from above the views of the lush vegetation of the Colombian Andes.  
We went by taxi to Casa India Catalina, a beautiful small hotel in the heart of the old city. The heat was intense.
But, even more intense was our longing to become acquainted with the city. 
Our exploration started from the most beautiful part of it, the Walled Town, protected by UNESCO.

While walking through the cobbled streets of the old city, with its beauty almost untouched by time, while interacting with the whole hearted and polite locals and admiring the samples of the Colonial Spanish Architecture, we had a mental time travel in the past, in those distant eras, when slaves were being brought here from Africa and goods were being carried by boats to Spain.

We went to Santo Domingo Square, where predominant is the church Templo de Santo Domingo with its characteristic yellow color (it dates back to the 16nth century)
 


and were photographed with the sculpture of Gorda Gertrudis _a plump lady laying on her side_ created by the famous Colombian artist Botero, who has managed through his superb art to free of guilt all the overweight people in the world!
We continued our walking on the cobbled streets of the old town, totally enchanted by the beauty that was spreading in front of our eyes. What could one admire first? The traditional houses with the lofty wooden entrances and the incredible door knockers… The loaded with bougainvillea flowers balconies…the noisy, colorful outdoor markets, the narrow cobblestone streets…the squares with the colonial Hispanic/Arabic Architecture and all those romantic touches, like the horse drawn carriages…
 


We arrived at the magnificent yellow Clock Tower at the homonymous square and at the gate Puerta del Reloj (entrance landmark to the historical center) and then continued our walk to  the square Plaza de la Aduana



and to the square San Pedro de Claver, with the homonymous church.



 

We passed by the Catedral de Santa Catalina de Alejandría and arrived at Plaza Bolivar,
 


where we saw a group of youngsters who were dancing…
After having enjoyed their little performance, we continued to Baluarte de Santo Domingo and to Cafe del Mar, where from we admired the enhancing sunset from the old town’s walls, with the amazing views to the Carribean Sea.
 


Extraordinary atmosphere!!!

Afterwards we started walking towards Getsemani, a neighborhood with all the necessary elements of the hospitable and fiery South American culture that would make us blend with the locals and feel the very core of this amazing city…

 


We saw colorful graffiti on the walls, painted facades, opened doors and windows, kids playing at the square, street musicians, dancers and other artists and also tourists enjoying some leisure time on the bars, while salsa music could be heard everywhere…

We drank beer, sat on the benches of  Plaza de La Trinidad (Holy Trinity Square), along with many other foreign visitors and locals too, trying to discover a code of communication with a people gifted with a larger than life and strongly fiery temperament…

We returned to Santo Domingo Square, next to our hotel, and had our dinner within a very exquisite atmosphere, filled with fascinating rythms and sounds, while watching women with hats made of fruits on their heads, couples who were dancing and many street vendors who were selling Cuban cigars!
 

 

Country: Colombia
Date: 2016
Route: Colombia-Ecuador
Cities: Thessaloniki, Bogotá, Bogotá, Cartagena de Indias, Cartagena, Quito, Otavalo, Laguna de Limpiopungu, Sigchos, Laguna de Quilitoa, Latacunga, Alausi, Sibambe, Alausi, Cuenca, Guayaquil
Duration: 10
Difficulty:
Population: 49.473.456
Rating:
comments
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Country: Colombia
Date: 2016
Route: Colombia-Ecuador
Cities: Thessaloniki, Bogotá, Bogotá, Cartagena de Indias, Cartagena, Quito, Otavalo, Laguna de Limpiopungu, Sigchos, Laguna de Quilitoa, Latacunga, Alausi, Sibambe, Alausi, Cuenca, Guayaquil
Duration: 10
Difficulty:
Population: 49.473.456
Rating:
comments
VIEW
Country: Colombia
Date: 2016
Route: Colombia-Ecuador
Cities: Thessaloniki, Bogotá, Bogotá, Cartagena de Indias, Cartagena, Quito, Otavalo, Laguna de Limpiopungu, Sigchos, Laguna de Quilitoa, Latacunga, Alausi, Sibambe, Alausi, Cuenca, Guayaquil
Duration: 10 days
Difficulty:
Population: 49.473.456
Rating:
comments
VIEW