On our first evening stroll through the streets, we were high - fived by a busload of revelers swings past and almost lifted into chaos . Party groups moved to the city with brightly painted chiva' s, open-sided old school buses. Radiation tinny music is an integral part of the experience , while the dance on board weighs the chassis of the chiva to the beat of Colombian salsa.
Cartagena is a bit of a party place . It is a common getaway for people in the capital of Colombia, Bogotá. Most stay in Boca Grande , a peninsula extending into the Caribbean, where hotel chains and skyscrapers dominate the skyline . If you are ready to go from the sea ( it's pretty gray here anyway ), it is to remain a much more attractive alternative to the old town. And when a party in chiva is not your kind of thing, then there is always a romantic horse-drawn carriage tour. However, by far the greatest joy comes from simply walking through the streets.
The history , colors and vibrancy of Cartagena is sensational. At night, the streets of the inner city wall are lit like my childhood bright screen light : colors pop against the black sky . During the day the sun enhances the vibrant colors : cobalt blue mud houses , hotels pink , pastel pink churches , white wooden balconies, deep mahogany doors and the bright yellow passage Las Bóvedas < / em > . This vault in the northern corner of the city walls were built to military storage facilities and also later used as prisons. Today, Las Bóvedas < / em > house shops a variety of crafts. Although most tourists , leather, ceramics , clothing , Christmas decorations and ornaments are aligned high , quality craftsmanship .
Perhaps Colombia's most famous souvenir is the emerald. I imagined a poetic mixture of blue sky and yellow sun makes the emerald so green, but emeralds are big business here ( remember Romancing the Stone? ) . It is wise to do your homework because the quality, that is to say, clarity - can be temporarily improved under the eyes of a potential buyer . In addition to the product itself, the means of acquiring the stone is not to be taken lightly. Emeralds come from deep mines in the mountains and in the 1990s a wild " green fever " broke the landscape as speculators disregard for the law and virtually enslaved miners to get their goods.
Slavery is in fact what gave Cartagena its special advantage. In 1525 it became one of the first European settlements in the New World slave trade and receive exclusive rights. Today, you can feel a deep sense of their history and breeds Colombian ancestry, from African street dancers on the statue of India Catalina , a beautiful native Caribs , who was an interpreter of Spanish . You can try it in the comida criolla ( Creole cuisine ) .
Snack carts with Butifarras , smoky mini meatballs, can be found everywhere . Plaza Santo Domingo is served on the busy square with its cafés, of course , Colombian coffee . In its center, lounges , a lavish bronze Venus of Colombia's most famous artist Botero . It acts as a small reminder of how generous you get when you ( egg wrapped in fried corn cakes ) feasted on everything on offer, including arepas and Colombianas < / em >, a sugary carbonated beverages such as sodas cream from a long time ago .
Apart from restaurants and small hotels, the roads are panning from Plaza Santo Domingo full of small businesses , such as shoe shiner, tourist stalls , typists , street musicians , mimes you for blocks and money changers who you approach follow the road. Identifies exchange to take place , through the spindles of the balustrade window.
To Cartagena Declaration of Independence in 1810 , to do the first settlement , they rode on their reputation as Heroic City for some time . Today, his heroism has slowed , but it remains full of gracious open spaces , elegant colonial structures and confident , entrepreneurial people . Everyone is a walking cell phone sales calls for 250 pesos per minute. " Llamada , llamada ," they cry , as they traipse through the city. Casual vendors carry a box " Llamada " sign around his neck and the more serious service providers have their territorial corners .
The town is like a village , with villagers relaxed and helpful to each other tourists. Cartagena is a slightly seedy reputation among foreigners , but it does not feel unsafe. Street commerce is a way of life , and so is music. Everywhere there is music in the streets of Cartagena and there are always people , swaying , tapping, circling to the beat , as if the streets are their living room . Here you have the feeling that they live life in order to live joyfully. And if you are on a chiva or slow dance to the fully -equipped stereo in your hotel room ( they all have one) swing , you will soon be pleasantly surprised that you packed the fever .