Cartagena has the reputation of being the safest city in Colombia and it also feels that way, but our flight into the city did not. During the whole time flying into Bogota and the next flight from Bogota to Cartagena we flew through a thunderstorm seeing the lightning striking several times a minute not too far from where we were flying. Once we got on the ground though we felt really safe, taking a taxi and walking the streets to get some food at two o’clock at night.
When getting up early the next morning to eat the breakfast included in our hostel (Iguana Hostel) we met a British and an American who asked if we wanted to come sightseeing with them, and as we had no idea what there was to see in the city it was great to have someone with us who had done their research and had a plan. They also proved to be some pretty awesome people as well, so I think we will try to stick with them for the next days as well.
A full day of walking got us through a lot, and I almost dare to say pretty much all that Cartagena had to offer to the touristy eye. We started off by visiting the Castle Castilla San Felipe, since it was right nex to the fortress part of Cartagena, Getsemani, where we were staying. It was nice getting up in the height to get a good view over the city and the best part of it was going through the many narrow tunnels underneath it. After that we were off to the old city to walk past statues and churches and to get a stroll on the wall. One of the guys had also read about the citys Bazaar, called Mercado Bazurto where the Lonely Planet had mentioned that it was a sketchy area where only the adventurous people would go and as a group we decided to give it a try. Once we got there the taxi driver started telling us that it was a bit dangerous and a place where no tourist would go, we decided to turn around and drive back to the city with the tail between our legs.
In the evening we took a walk to Bocagrande to see the sunset from the city beach and have some dinner at “Crepes and Waffles”, a South American chain restaurant only employing underprivileged women and serving good crepes and other dishes. After dinner it was back to the hostel for a couple of drinks since we had planned to go out to try salsa dancing, but since we did not find any good salsa bars around we ended up spending the evening salsa free in our hostel room instead.