Trip Start Jan 14, 2013
Trip End Apr 15, 2013

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Flag of Colombia  , Bolívar,
Saturday, February 9, 2013

Three days touring this beautiful Colonial City was just enough to get a feel for its days gone by. It reminded us of Havana only considerably more restorations have been done to preserve its history, beautiful old storied buildings and cathedrals. We stayed in the Getsemani district which is located just blocks from the entrance to the old city centre in a hostel called "Casa Sweety". It is owned by an interesting older Vietnamese couple who live in Paris. One of the young gals working there nicely translated for us as we struggled to make conversation with them over breakfast. They have family in Canada from the post Vietnam war and split their time between Luxembourg, Paris and four months a year in Cartegena, much to the shagrin of the staff who appeared to be a bit on pins and needles. I'll let mom fill you in on the rest of their family details :)

Hard to put the camera down here as the streets are filled with interesting people engaged in the rhythm of their long day. Narrow winding streets and ancient buildings are full of curves and covered by an artists palette of colors. We were lucky to stumble across the trumpet player perched on a balcony over looking the square getting ready for an outdoor concert, the ol boys playing dominoes over a few beers, happy hour......the fruit vendors early in the morning carving exotic fruit cups, an impromptu gathering in front of the Argentinian empanada stand, an hombre taking a snooze in a horse cart, crab cakes at the "smallest restaurant in the world" , happy hour..... the familiar calls and whistles of vendors hawking fresh juice, avocadoes, empanadas, pineapples and cell minutes. What we see in Colombia in general is a lot of people are just living for the moment, some are just happy to be alive and others are on top of the economic breakthrough that Colombia and other South American countries are experiencing. There appears to be mucho tax dollars going into beautifying an already beautiful country, beefing up security and taking control of most of the country. Colombians are so happy now to be able to travel and see their country safely, enjoying regions that were out of bounds just a few short years ago. To take their families to the plazas and parks and to walk their city streets is very much a relatively new community social activity. We have yet to feel unsafe in any of the cities or anywhere else we have been and believe they have a good new moto. "The only danger in Colombia is not wanting to leave". They are very happy to see the gringos here spending money on making their lives a little better, and rightly showing off their country. Adios Colombia, Ola Quito Ecuador.
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