Sunday, January 23
When you mention Cartagena, the first thing that seems to come to people’s minds is Kathleen Turner (as romance novelist Joan Wilder) alongside Michael Douglas and their ridiculous adventure trying to cross Colombia to Cartagena. I have to admit that I watched the 1980’s film to prepare myself for the trip. To be really honest, after watching the movie, I wasn’t really sure what to expect.
I can’t believe that it was just a week ago that I was enjoying relaxing days of the warm Caribbean air while strolling the cobbled streets. Old men push creaky carts laden with fresh fruit and halved coconuts. Charming hole-in-the-wall restaurants serve fresh fish and ceviches caught just hours before.
The vibrant seaside 16th century walled city (which the Spanish founded in 1533) is filled with some of the most beautiful and untouched colorful architecture. Perhaps this is why Gabriel Garcia Marquez maintains his ocean front property just off the Plaza San Diego (one of the most charming, residential squares in Cartagena).
I absolutely fell in love with the Palenque woman who wear multicolored outfits and walk around selling fruit (which they put in a large bowl and carry on their heads!)
Perhaps this untouched gem is going to be the next HOT place? Especially since Martha Stewart and Vice President Biden were also in town during my visit for Cartagena’s annual classical music festival. Additionally, The New York Times named Colombia as one of THE places to visit in 2011. Colombia’s reputation is deservedly changing.
If you are looking for a great vacation spot, I can’t suggest Cartagena enough. It is worth noting that it is just a two-hour flight from Miami, but there is hardly an American to be found strolling through this enchanting city.
Coming soon, more on the rest of my adventures in Colombia.