We didn’t quite know what to expect from the northern harbour city, Cartagena. It did not disappoint us -it remained the city with the best vibe on our journey.
Cartagena war mit die schönste Stadt in Norden Südamerikas. Nicht nur ist vieles in der Altstadt gut erhalten, inklusive der Stadtmauern und des Forts, sondern die Atmosphäre in dieser Stadt ist toll und lädt ein, länger zu verweilen. Auch konnten Bernd und Marion hier die Formalitäten gut erledigen, ihren Wagen von hier aus nach Hamburg zu verschiffen.
As we arrived in Cartagena we found our way to the suburb Getsemani, got to hostal San Roque that we had selected, only to find extraordinary unfriendly reception staff and rooms that were not fit staying in (some small, no ventilation, no window etc). It prompted us to drive around and we came across the Stil Hotel – an average 3 Star hotel (South American stars, that is…) on Plazoleta Telecom. Parking we found in a parquadero just a block away, where we had the feeling that the vehicles would be safe and looked after.
Stil Hotel was a good choice -about a 15 minute walk into the old part of Cartagena, past the chic food stall of the world record holder for the largest ever Camarones cocktail (shrimps). This became the obvious choice of starter in the evenings. You select the cup size you want to have and pay accordingly.
Round the corner the very friendly Lilian runs the lavanderia Beer & Laundry where you can lots of advice of what to see and where to eat -all while you get your washing done expertly.
The old section of Cartagena lies within the old city walls built around 1615, well preserved and filled with church plazas, hotels, boutiques, restaurants, bars with live entertainment and a tiny Italian ice cream parlour worth mentioning – best ice cream in the country.
The old city wall is still intact and largely built with coral rocks.
In the evening a special atmosphere prevails and we took a tour by horse cart -we can recommend it!
We visited the old fort Castillo San Felipe and from our hotel it was also possible on foot although there are many affordable taxis.
The door knockers on the high doors in the old city signalled what profession the inhabitant belonged to.
Cartagena has a very trendy and modern high rise section with safe beaches for swimming: Boca Grande. Here many apartments can be rented also on a day by day basis for a holiday. Our inquiries showed that out of season the rates are reasonable and some of the apartments were brand new.
Before we proceeded it was time for the Landcruiser to get a service and we tracked down Freddy’s Toyota -a small, privately owned workshop offering good service (not only for Toyotas).
This post cover 16th-20th October 2016