Plaza San Diego

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50 travelers at this place:

  • Day35

    Cartagena No. 2

    November 12, 2017 in Colombia ⋅ ⛅ 30 °C

    Second day in Cartagena was rather lazy. After another typical Colombian breakfast including patacones (salty banana patties), we showed up for the city tour which turned out to be rather boring and no value add to the info tables in the city. Thus, we left early and went to look at the Inquisition Museum which was the former Palacio de la Inquisición. Very nice architecture, not that much info ;-) Probably the nicest thing: meeting Sumi again coincidentally whom we had gotten to know in Bogotá a week ago!

    Afterwards we relaxed in a nice café (almond milk included :-)) and fetched the laundry (Bertram still fighting to get everything back into the backpack as I write).

    Likely, we will have a quick meal before taking the bus to Santa Marta tonight.
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  • Day126

    Cartagena by night

    February 2, 2018 in Colombia ⋅ 🌙 26 °C

    We reached Cartagena early in the evening. We didn't have any booking for stay here so we decided to walk out of the airport and look around. We had looked at the prices in and had an idea on what to look for. The area around the airport was a residential one and reminded me amd Hristo about my hometown Chandigarh in India. Actually, the houses were quite like our house in Chandigarh. Simple 1 floor houses with a porch in front and lots of greenery around.
    Within a km of the airport, there were 5-6 hotels and hostels so we walked around and then finally decided to stay at Chill House Hostel about 800 mts from the airport. We negotiated the price for a 3 bed room with a shared bathroom for 105000 COP.
    The old town of Cartagena was 5 kms away from the hostel. At the hostel, we learnt an interesting fact about the local transportation. One could take a shared taxi (all yellow colored cars) from anywhere near the airport to the old town or anywhere along the way for a fixed price of 2000 COP per person. This was a very convenient arrangement, so we decided to go and check out the old town in the evening itself.
    After a long long time, we were saw small roadside kiosks selling cheap local food items. This is what we had been missing all the time in Chile and Argentina. We had loved to explore the local food in Bolivia and Peru bit had never found anything similar in the "much more developed" Chile or Argentina.
    Colombia was a dream come true food wise amd atmosphere wise. We gorged on the local food items like the roasted goat cheese, raw cheese, corn etc. It was nice and pleasant and people were out enjoying the weather and the food. We didn't really feel threatened or intimidated as is normally associated with the whole Colombia. After a gap of 2 months, it was time to enjoy the food and that too at a cheap price.
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  • Day16

    Colombia Day 15

    August 10, 2018 in Colombia ⋅ ⛅ 30 °C

    OK So this text disappeared into cyber space so this will be a shorter note for the day.
    A travel day but not until late afternoon so ML and I off via walking and metro to the Flower show at the Medellin Botanical gardens. We finally found the "real" flower show!! A huge botanical gardens with an open air exposition center in the middle. Flowers of every kind with the focus on orchids - hundreds of different types. So beautiful and fun to walk around. Last year Illene and I atteneded the world's premiere flower show, the Chelsea Flower Show in London. Some of the designs and displays here rivaled those in Chelsea. Around the perimeter of the grounds were all types of artisan stalls with more upscale goods. Unfortunately we did not have more time to really look around well as we had to get back but it was a wonderful couple hours.
    Back to hotel to check out, Uber to the airport and a quick one hour flight to Cartagena - my last stop on this trip.
    Interesting feeling when I stepped out into the sultry, warm, humid air of Cartagena. I said to myself - "this feels like the Caribbean". Now I have not been to the Caribbean for about 35+ years but that was my first thought. What makes that happen?
    Our bnb is great, right in the center of the historic district. We can walk anywhere from here. A quick trip to the local Exito - super market - for essentials and then out to dinner- La Mulata - at a place recommended by our host close by. More cerviche and fish for dinner - cerviche very good, dinner just OK. Back to bnb for an early evening.
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  • Day18

    Colombia Day 17

    August 12, 2018 in Colombia ⋅ ⛅ 31 °C

    A morning of planning as we only have this place one more night. ML and Robert have 2 more unplanned weeks so they are thinking about where to go. They have decided to stay in Cartagena until I leave on Thursday. Our host has a friend with a place 5 minutes away so we will rent that place for the next 2 nights. In our discussion with our host, Flavia, Robert asked her about the beaches. She said she was going to a local beach today and asked if we wanted to go along. ML and Robert off to the beach with her, I missed some sleep last night so opted to stay here and do some things on my own. Have been wanting some "alone time" anyway. They are off around 11 and I am off to the store for dinner supplies as we will cook in tonight.
    Groceries in, food is very inexpensive, and by, Bay area standards, restaurants as well. Just nice not to have to go out to dinner all the time.
    My stomach is "talking to me" today so taking it easy. ML as well, we think from the cerviche last night as that was the only thing she and I ate that Robert did not. Strange as we have had cerviche almost every night that we were out to dinner.
    I went out to walk the Getsemani neighborhood not far away, of the walled city center. Lots of wonderful street art and more colonial architecture. Back to bnb to meet ML and Robert when they got back from the beach. They had a good time, said it was beautiful, we will go out to the islands and their beaches before we leave.
    We have been wanting to go to one of the clubs - late night music, dancing and drinking. Flavia gave us the name of a more non-touristy club close to us. So instead of going to bed at 9PM, we went out!! We did know that most of the clubs do not really get going until around midnight and it is a Sunday night as well. The club was on the main plaza of the central area of the city and we sat outside on a small balcony of the club sipping beers and waiting for something to happen. Lots of music but the recorded type. One Latin couple dancing and encouraged ML and Robert to join them which they did. Fun pictures. Around 10:30 we decided to leave, having had a bit of the experience.
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  • Day19

    Colombia Day 18

    August 13, 2018 in Colombia ⋅ ⛅ 30 °C

    Last move day for me. Yeah!! (Except for going home that is). Only booked this place for 3 days and decided to stay longer so off today for another place in historic Cartagena about 5 minutes away. Packing, pictures and breakfast filled the morning. Valentina came to pick us up a bit before noon and we took our luggage to the new place.
    I like the new place better. On 2 floors with a rooftop terrace. Lighter decor and not as cluttered as previous place. Had to leave right away as they were still cleaning so out to walk the City - back to Getsemani for ML and Robert. Still very hot mid day, stopped for a lemonade in the shade. Shopping along the way at the dozens/hundreds of artisan and souvenir shops along the way Back to the condo for a "feet up" hour. Planning to go to the Modern Art museum and it does not reopen until 3PM. Robert and ML doing some planning for the rest of the trip and we are getting things organized for our beach trip to the islands tomorrow. Flavia, the manager of the last place, has been extremely helpful. She knows everything and everyone to make things pretty seamless. Off to the Modern Art museum. Some interesting things but not air-conditioned so our attention span was limited. A stop for groceries in the way back and then the 2nd shower of the day and dress for dinner. Robert and ML invited Flavia to join us to thank her for all she has done. Had some wine here and then to dinner - Juan del Mar - just a couple blocks away. Lovely restaurant and very good food, we all shared various dishes and enjoyed Flavia's company.
    Very tired tonight - between a queasy gut all day long and the heat, glad it was an early night.
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  • Day130

    Buses to Barranquilla

    February 6, 2018 in Colombia ⋅ ☀️ 31 °C

    We had been used to the infrequent bus services in Patagonia, off late, so we decided to go to the bus terminal and find out about the bus frequency to Barranquilla which we intended to take the next day. There didn't seem like a single common bus terminal but an individual bus terminal for each operator. 😨
    Luckily, they all sewmed to be in the same area within 2 kms of each other. This place was about 3 kms from the old town, so we decided to walk till there. On the way, we passed the old city fortified walls which on close observation were made of corals from the sea around. We passed through Parque Apollo with its unique Iglesia el Cabrero. Just opposite the park is Rafael Núñez's cabin. Rafael Núñez Moledo (September 28, 1825 – September 18, 1894) was a Colombian author, lawyer, journalist and politician, who was elected president of Colombia in 1880 and in 1884. From here, we walked along the beachfront towards Marbella area where the bus stops were. It was extremely windy near the beach and the sand being kicked up from the beach, made it hard to walk near the road. The sand was flying all across the roads and hit in the face with piercing force. It was easier to walk in the wet part of the beach where the sand wasn't dry enough to fly.
    One by one, we went to all the bus terminals. We realized that there we quite frequent buses to Barranquilla. The one having the most connections was Berlinas, going every 10-15 min. Having figured that part of the next step in our trip, we walked back to the old town.
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  • Day130

    Las Bovedas

    February 6, 2018 in Colombia ⋅ ☀️ 28 °C

    From Marbella area we walked back to the old town of Cartagena. This time we walked in from an area we had not been in before. The first place we went to was Las Bovedas.
    Las Bóvedas (The Vaults) are a structure in the Old City of Cartagena in Colombia, attached to the walls. They were built as dungeons. They are located between the forts of Santa Clara and Santa Catalina. The cells in the dungeon now house shops, boutiques and other businesses along the stout walls protecting the old city of Cartagena.
    The arcades deep in the walls were designed as storage vaults but were used as prison cells during the civil wars in the 19th century; at high tide, the unfortunate internees were up to their knees in seawater.
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  • Day130

    San Diego area

    February 6, 2018 in Colombia ⋅ ☀️ 28 °C

    From Las Bovedas, we walked nearby to the San Diego neighborhood. The main place to converge in this area is the San Diego plaza. The plaza is surrounded by brightly painted houses with flowering balconies and narrow cobbled streets lined with bars and restaurants.

  • Day130

    Plaza de San Diego

    February 6, 2018 in Colombia ⋅ ☀️ 28 °C

    Plaza de San Diego remains a lasting relic of the city's wealth, acquired at the peak of the gold, sugar, and slave trade. The plaza is a popular place for dining out. There were many restaurants around the plaza, each offering a unique variety of cuisine. It was 4:30 pm, so we stopped by at one of the restaurant for our lunch.
    During the day, there are stalls with various goods, from local crafts and jewelry, to paintings and Cuban cigars. In the evening, local artists perform live music, adding to the atmosphere of this area.
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  • Day130

    Exotic fruits

    February 6, 2018 in Colombia ⋅ ☀️ 26 °C

    Walking in the Centro, we had an idea. We decided to go in to one of the supermarket and buy one or two pieces of all the exotic fruits we could find there. The plan being we would get to know how it looks like from the outside and how it tastes as well. We bought the fruits and took them back to the hostel, but with so many fantastic food kiosks on the way, we didn't eat them that evening.Read more

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