Cartagena

Next stop was the enchanting Cartagena, Colombia’s crown jewel of the Caribbean coast. During my time there, I explored “The Walled City” , the city’s old town that has a 6.5 mile wall surrounding itself that was built by the Spanish. It was only on my return to Medéllin that I realised that Cartagena’s old town is an UNESCO World Heritage site.

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It’s easy to see why, as many of the buildings are around 400 years old. It has to be said that this city is just magnificent. I spent an entire day just wondering around with my camera and endless bottles of water. Without a shadow of a doubt, Cartagena has been the hottest place i’ve had the pleasure of visiting. But don’t worry, I’m not going to ramble on about how much i was sweating…

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One thing has become particularly synonymous with Colombian cities over the last 7 weeks; artwork. I struggle to think of any other country that i’ve been too that has such a fabulous and intriguing artwork. Maybe I’ve just failed to notice it? Probably. But here, the street art is wonderful and comes in many varieties. A few spring to mind. Those guys that just sit outside a coffee shop or a bus stop with their canvases and their collections of paints all day, well they litter the streets in Cartagena. Add in the folk who are carving things out of wood meters from the beach and the extravagant graffiti art slapped on the faces of buildings and you’re left with a marvellous concoction of art that adds so much charm to this place. It oozes creativity.

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Whilst many, including myself are often fascinated and stunned in areas of immense natural beauty, seeing such wonderful man-made historical structures and architecture is almost on par. Well it is when it’s this good. When wandering the streets, some-one could have said I was in Spain and I would have had no doubts. Talk about colonial.

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Beautiful bronzed streets are separated by vibrant churches, balcony railings are bustling and bursting with multi-coloured flowers and street music where violins and saxophones have been melded to their owners are amongst traditional shops. It’s almost a merging of time several spots. Traditional and historic meet the modern, they co-exist and the blend is supreme. Don’t you think?

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