Many people said that Cartagena is a beautiful city in Bolivar, Colombia. And it is indeed. Personally, is one of the most beautiful little cities I’ve ever been to in this country. It has the mixed charms between the colonial buildings as it is one of the oldest cities in Colombia and the modern architecture around the north area, near the Rafael Nunez International Airport, although we just spend our time in the old town.
It was the first city of Spanish colonial on the mainland South American continent, way before becoming a UNESCO World Heritage Site, in 1984. Located on the Caribbean coast, Cartagena is known for having a tropical climate with high humidity, so we went in the morning before the sun get too high to the walled city (Ciudad Amurallada).
We walked 20 minutes from where we were staying to the main gate and as soon as we went thru the walled city, we felt going into another time and space. We were easily smiling looking at the architectural buildings of the Spanish colonial time. It was pleasant to wander around and witness the history treasures of Cartagena de las Indias. In my imagination, I pictured that the walls and the balconies were the guardians protectores, making it all safe. While the amount of beautiful bougainvilleas that coloured the houses and streets were the cherries, blooming the eyes of the tourists. Like mine!
Apprehensive like we were told to be, we actually low our guards a bit, since we saw many tourists strolling around with big cameras on their chest. That was something we rarely saw happening in another town we’ve visited. One can easily say that the walled city way safer than others and maybe thats also why this city is the most visited destination for tourists in Colombia.
After some exploring, it was difficult for Luis to choose which corner he should sketch, because everything is actually beautiful! In the end, he preferred to sketch his emotions out since it was too much to capture and the heat was a struggle. You can see one of them on the picture below or go on his Instagram for more sketches and pictures.
Apart from the charming buildings, we got curious with the ladies selling fruits asking us to take pictures. The colors of the fruits combined with their colorful dresses on their dark skin were so eye-catching! We bought a bowl of fruit salad from one of them, and while “Belinda” prepared it, Luis did a sketch that you can read on the sketch stories.
While Luis was sketching, we found out that these ladies come from a particular small village called Palenque de San Basilio. The village stays 50 km away from Cartagena and in short words that was the place where Africans escaped from Spaniard slavery in Cartagena and conquer their freedom. This little story was enough to make us curious about Palenque and so, on the next day we decided to stop there.