I spent a few hours touring the city on my own.
and I ended up ion The Centennial Park.What facinated me most there were the iguanas. They climbed high up in trees and were very territorial. I saw one fight high up that ende with the loser falling to the ground with a thump.
But of course I also took pictures of people. I find that more and more interesting.
Cartagena lies by the Carribean sea and is a popular stop for a lot of cruise ships. The day we came to the city three huge cruise ships also arrived and the tourists filled the old city. It was obvious that tourism had a great impact in the city. There were hundreds of street vendors selling everything from T-shirts, juice, post cards, souvenirs etc, and they were quite active. It was a pity as the old part of the city was really nice, but the tourists and the salespeople made it much less attractive.
We went through a part of the city that few tourists ever visited, called Getsemane and I liked that better. here the “natives” lived. We were told that 80% of the inhabitants in Cartagena are descendants from slavesand some of the street art reflected that.
The streets were narrow, the colors were bright, the houses were max two stories high.
In an open place there were some special statues.
To me this visit to Getsemane was the best part of our 2 days stay in Cartagena. I just hope it will take a long time before tourism also changed that part of the city. Tourism definitely has its disadvantages for us tourists. There is a paradox here!
Salento is a small town in “The Coffee Highland” and was said to be a popular holiday spot for Colombians.
We visited a coffee plantation close by and were introduced to growing and making Colombian coffee.
We drove into Cocora valley where Colombia’s national tree, the Palma de Cera, is growing.
Popayan is called the white city of Colombia as most of the houses are white. It had been raining when we were there so the streets were wet and it was cloudy. We looked at a couple of churches, but I find churches to be like each other. But they have certain atmosphere.
The wet streets and the clouds made a special light.
A third church was said to be the one the descendants of the natives used.
A minister performed the Communion in the church, and what I found special was that the song used was the Beetles-song “Hi Jude” with a new and Spanish text.
We stayed two nights at Hotel Monasterio San Augustin and that was may be the most special place we stayed. It was on top of a hill with a view.
Since it was an old monastery it had a chapel with belltower.
My room is the first door to the right.
View from my door at night.
The climate and soil made vegetation grow as can be seen on the pictures. I enjoy taking pictures of flowers and this was the place to do it.
We visited a very special house built of clay. Almost everything was different from a usual house, exterior and interior. I don’t know if anyone lived or planned to live in the house. If so, it would be a very special experience.
I could recognice rooms as kitchen…
Even the lamps were special
It was a special experience to see this house. I had to wonder why, it must be a nightmare to live there, and things like cleaning or decorating must be difficult. And how about heating or ventilation. I found it to be eccentric and it must be built by a person that had too much money and a publicity wish.
Villa de Leyva is a small town with about 10 000 inhabitants. It was founded by the Spaniards for the soldiers. Low houses and a large city square and cobble stones give a special atmosphere.
But what I remeber best from our stay in Villa Leyva is the rain! Extremely heavy rain made rivers of the streets, the drainage had no possibility to cope with the amount of water.
The streets were very clean afterwards. Fortunately it was a creek at the end of the street, so no flooding.