Every opportunity I have to visit and get lost in the streets of the Historical Center of Cartagena is a pleasure that I do not like to miss.
Enjoy a while in this beautiful sector, this treasure of humanity, is an experience that we should all do at least once in life. This tour is a delight, not only for the view full of beautiful buildings, but also for the other senses, since while you travel through it you can enjoy delicious flavors, listen to infectious rhythms, and feel in your skin the fresh breeze that cools off the excessive heat.
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On this occasion, I met with a group of musicians friends who had finished performing at an exclusive restaurant nearby the always charming Plaza Fernández de Madrid. And although I had several plans to make in their company, the first thing they let me know when we greeted each other was that they had to leave for the airport in two hours, so we had to make the most with the time we had, in order to send them back to their city full of good memories.
It was five o'clock when we met. The afternoon was cool and a beautiful sky with red and yellow tones accompanied us. The first thing was to define the itinerary according to the cravings of my friends, so we decided on four activities, scattered throughout the Historical Center and that collected part of the essence that brings its magic to the Heroic city.
Yes, you are reading well, the beach can also be lived in the Historical Center. One of my friends was dying to put her feet in the sea and take advantage to watch the sun lose itself on the horizon. Despite not being the most commercial beach, in the sector of La Tenaza, a stretch of the walls between the bastions of Santa Catalina and San Lucas, you can find a portion of the beach where the fishermen of the area are located. After going out to the Santander Avenue, through one of the mouths of the walled cord, and passing by the Monument to Los Alcatraces, we found the perfect place to enjoy, at least with our bare feet, the warm waters of the Caribbean Sea in company of those who earn their living in the area, humble people but rich in human warmth and cordiality. Needless to say, the sunset was spectacular.
Zapote juice and shrimp ceviche in the Historical Center
After satisfying the whim of our friend, the next stop was to refresh and soothe a couple of cravings that had accompanied them during the day. The mission was to get a zapote juice and a typical shrimp ceviche. Fortunately, we did not have to walk very far to find, near Plaza Santodomingo, a place where they offer a wide variety of natural juices prepared at the time of order. For a value between 3.000 and 5.000 COP you can enjoy these drinks.
The clock was already close to marking six o'clock in the afternoon, when we went to the sector of Avenida Venezuela, diagonal to the Plaza de la Paz and the iconic Clock Tower, where we find different premises ready to satisfy the craving of this classic preparation with succulent fruits of the sea. For different values, between 10 and 15 thousand COP, you can take advantage of these delicious ceviches.
"Where can I buy an enyucado? In my house they all love it", said my friend while we paid the bill. Immediately the Portal de los Dulces (Candy Portal) came to my mind, a place that we quickly reached by entering the Walled City through the Clock Tower and then crossing the Plaza de los Coches. In there, along the colonial corridors of various period buildings, we find a fair that brings together the most delicious typical sweets of Cartagena.
In the middle of this incredible variety of flavors, colors and textures, we managed to get a tasty enyucado, a homemade cake made from yucca flour and flavored with a little anise. We were initially asked for 10 thousand COP, but we managed to get 2 for 16 thousand COP. Of course it was not the only thing they bought. With bags full of sweets and a big smile adorning their faces, we started our return to the point where they would be picked up.
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Why is it that time flies for us mortals in the Historical Center? We only had forty minutes left to enjoy some of the most attractive spaces in Colombia, but, to avoid last minute inconveniences, we decided to return to our starting point, the always welcoming Plaza Fernández de Madrid.
Although two hours may seem an insufficient time to travel an area full of history and culture, if you plan well you can enjoy a time full of flavor and emotion. As the farewell approached, we sat for a while in the Plaza listening to a string duet playing at a nearby restaurant. The bohemian atmosphere and the good energy of the people, made that the little time we had left vanished in an unforgettable moment.
When the vehicle that would take them to the airport arrived, I could not believe everything we had achieved in these pleasant two hours through the Historical Center. A place that never gets old and will never go out of style.