Monday, December 01, 2008


While most Americans automatically think drug cartel, kidnappings and terrorism when they hear the word "Columbia", our weekend in Cartagena was everything but.
At La Popa (not the Pope) the "stern" shaped hill overlooking the city

Max dangerously close to a drop - all for a good picture (that wasn't that good)

The view from our hotel

Los Lemley Boys on the top of the Wall

Cartagena is located in the northern part of Columbia on the Caribbean Sea. Our hotel was located in an area of town called Bocagrande and we stayed there most of the time except when we ventured into the historic walled city. Cartagena is a great balance of gorgeous stonework and colonial architecture alongside beautiful beachfront. The weather was warm, okay, very warm, which made our little red cheeked babe a bit ornery at times, but he did great. Once you stepped out of the hotel, there was a decent ocean breeze, but it was quite steamy there. Definitely, perfect vacation weather. We meandered around town in our flipflops and summer clothes all weekend.

The food was amazing. Our hotel had an amazing spread in the mornings, so much so, that we decided to eat there for two of our lunches - for the convenience of being close by at nap time, but also because the food was fantastic! Which it should have been since lunch cost us each about $30. There was great fish, different breads, potato dishes and interesting empanadas - like a cheese, ham and pineapple one - yumm! Maximo ate fish three out of the four days and truly devoured it! There was a great pizza place across from our hotel, which we went to twice because it was so good and kid friendly. I ordered the same thing twice, and now I need to duplicate it here because I can't stop thinking about it - a pizza topped with ham, arugula, mushrooms and blue cheese... I am salivating as I type the ingredients! We also went to a great little shack on the side of the beach one day that was recommended called Kiosko El Bony - which was run by a famous Columbian boxer, Bonifacio Avila (he was actually there, probably in his sixties now, but in great shape!). It was so good - Max and I shared a fried fish with plantains and coconut rice while John ate shrimp and rice. Despite the heat and sometimes crushing humidity, everywhere we went served soup and most Colombians had soup with their lunch. They looked delicious, but I couldn't go near a soup in that heat.

We found the Colombian people very hospitable and genuine. I actually felt safer there than I do in Peru (not that I feel unsafe here, I just didn't worry about my handbag, etc. when we were out to eat). Surpisingly, Colombia is maybe even more baby friendly than Peru! Our waitresses and acquaintances doted on Maximo and claimed that he like the "morenas" as he flirted with them every time they walked by us. We were always ushered past long lines just because we had a little boy in our arms. After a long day of travel with a little kid, it definitely makes a difference. I wish all countries had the same law as most South American countries do - which has preferential lines for elderly, preggos and people with kiddos in ALL public places, ahhhhh.

I could write a lot more, but after a long, horrendous travel day (I may post more on this later, when we're ready to laugh about it), I feel this isn't that well written and I'm not going to drag it out. I just wanted to share our travels and let our moms you all know we made it back in one piece.

1 comment:

Mandy Berkowitz said...

When I think of Cartegena I think of the movie Romancing the Stone! :)