Two Gringo Book Lovers in Paradise

At a book stall near the east gate to the walled Old Town of Cartagena de Indias in Colombia

At a book stall near the east gate to the walled Old City of Cartagena de Indias in Colombia

In early February we boarded a Jet Blue flight in Rochester, NY to Cartagena, Colombia with one connection at JFK in New York City.  We left zero degree temperatures in Rochester at 6:30am in the morning…

ROC airport, Rochester, NY

ROC airport, Rochester, NY

in flight over the Dominican Republic

in flight over the Dominican Republic

…and arrived in Cartagena at 1:30 in the afternoon to 80 degree F. temperatures with cool tropical breezes blowing in off the Caribbean Sea.

Cartagena, Colombia airport

Arriving at Cartagena, Colombia airport

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Going through immigration at Cartagena, Colombia airport

Going through immigration at Cartagena, Colombia airport

Our mission was to visit our son and daughter-in-law in their new home and to explore the area so romantically depicted in the books of Gabriel Garcia Marquez, journalist and Nobel Prize Winner for Literature (most famous for the books One Hundred Years of Solitude and Love in the Time of Cholera).

Gabriel Garcia Marquez was a grand master of the literary genre known as magical realism.  It didn’t take us long to discover where Marquez drew his stories from, as Cartagena is indeed an utterly magical place brimming with romance, beauty and history.  We took an amazing walking tour focusing on Marquez and his literature, which we will cover in an upcoming post.

First, let us introduce you to some of the beauties of  the enchanting city of Cartagena!

We arrived at Adam and Diana’s home in the early afternoon…

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and enjoyed relaxing by the pool with a view of the sea.

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Later that evening Adam and Diana brought us to the Old City.

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Cartagena was founded by Spanish commander Pedro de Heredia in 1533.  Towering fortresses and 11 kilometers of thick stone walls surrounding the old town are awesome historic reminders of this coastal City’s pirate-ravaged past.

At one of the entrances to the walled city of Cartagena at night

At one of the entrances to the walled city

Today Cartagena is an enchanting and eclectic mix of ancient and modern.  In the streets, both inside and outside the wall, automobiles mix in a gentle symbiotic chaos alongside donkeys pulling carts and elegant horse carriages.

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Street vendors peddle their wares on the sidewalks amid upscale boutiques selling high end fashion, food and art.  Excellent food can be had on the cheap from sidewalk purveyors or from first class restaurants boasting world-renowned chefs.

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Beautiful fresh fruits are bountiful in Cartagena

Beautiful fresh fruits are bountiful in Cartagena20150206_170437_resized_4

Beautifully plated Lion Fish, at El Gobernador restaurant

Beautifully plated Lion Fish, devoured at the elegant El Gobernador restaurant

Hotels, restaurants and spas with beautiful courtyards await discovery behind massive elegant doors decorated with incredible door knockers…

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Old mixes with new.  From the nearly 500 year old Fort San Felipe, one can see the distant contemporary high-rise buildings of Cartagena.

Ancient and modern Cartagena juxtaposed, looking through a watchtower at Fort San Felipe toward the modern section of the city

Ancient and modern Cartagena juxtaposed, looking through a watchtower at Fort San Felipe toward the modern section of the city

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ground view of Fort San Felipe

Join us on future posts as we visit a bookstore and go on a walking tour in the footsteps of Gabriel Garcia Marquez…

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Cartagena was declared a “World Heritage Site” by UNESCO in 1984.  For a wonderful description of the city’s heritage, click HERE.

 

 

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One CommentLeave a comment

  1. That library looks phenomenal – very jealous.

    http://loveschneeps.com/2015/02/15/ten-signs-that-youve-been-backpacking-in-south-america-2/


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