Rolled out of bed, ready to seize the day! Which meant, coffee and finding something to eat. Coffee was easy enough to find, as all these vendors are walking around with thermoses full of coffee (and hot milk with sugar, if you wanted to indulge a little). And at the corner bakery, I got an arepa stuffed with egg and meat as well as jelly roll with papaya and cheese. (No pictures, just see them in your mind’s eye).
We eventually set off to La Perla. The atmosphere, the vibe, the sangrias, were all amazing. More ceviche for all! If you did want a change of pace from seafood, try the shredded oxtail with potato.
I felt this when I was in Peru as well, but in South America, the blend of cultures lends itself to this amazing cuisine as well as this multicoloured population that seems very comfortable in their Colombian-ness. It actually felt more like the Caribbean than South America, except for the super Spanish influences.
After this meal, we set off for a walking tour of the old city. As the old city was walled, it was a good orientation as we kept using the wall as our compass. We started with the old fort (complete with cannons), to see what the Spanish were seeing when they picked this spot as their lookout.
Next, was the cathedral of San Pedro de Calver. He was a Jesuit priest who devoted his life to ministering to the slaves that were brought to South America via Cartagena to work the fields and mines.
From the side of the inner walls, you could see where the ships would come in to clear customs and unload their wares.
It was just gorgeous to walk around in the sun and take in all the beauty and colours of the old city. It was filled with blooming trees, intertwined with old buildings, existing seamlessly as one.
We also ended up seeing Gabriel Garcia Marquez (my favourite author!)’s monstrosity of a house that he created by tearing down sections of the old villa that used to be on that spot.
Sunset on the wall. A must. As are some cold beers and friends.
We then ambled along to La Mulata Cartagena for dinner. Very cool vibe with a lot of Caribbean influences, the portions were huge for the price. There were also lots of pictures of Gabo hung all around.
The running joke on this trip has been the guys singing Happy Birthday to me at every meal, trying to score something free. After the fourth attempt, it worked! I got to blow out a candle perched on a tiny mini muffin that we all shared (tiny bites). All in all, a magical night 🙂