Colombia - Cartagena and Medellin
Trip Start Jan 03, 2013
35Trip End Jul 21, 2013
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The next day, after a bit of a lie in, we headed out to explore the city. Our first stop was Castle San Felipe de Barajas, which was built in 1536 and was on the hill overlooking the old town. We explored the tunnels and passages, in and out of the basillions and enjoying the view over the city. It was so well preserved and we felt like we had gone back in time.
We walked back to the old town and wandered around Getsemani, where our hotel was located
As it was our 6 month wedding anniversary, we decided to go out for a really nice meal. We set off to some places we hadn't been in the day. Everywhere looked so atmospheric in the dark and we sat in Santa Domingo plaza and had a delicious dinner with a bottle of wine. It was the most expensive meal on the trip so far but it was worth it and what better occasion to celebrate.
Having decided that we would catch the night bus to Medellin the following evening, we bought the bus ticket which was really expensive (COP$108.000 - about £48). This was by far the most expensive journey we had made so far. We enjoyed a wander around the city again, taking in the last few sights we didn't see the day before returning to Getsemani
We arrived into Medellin early the next morning, a little sleepy and bought our tickets for the next bus journey later that day. Our first impression of Medellin was that it was a big city, quite attractive sitting in a dip with much of it built sprawling up the surrounding mountains. Over 1 million people live there. Once known for its violence and drug wars led by the famous Pablo Escobar, it is now one of the most progressive cities in South America, and the people work hard and play hard, clearly proud of their city.
We jumped on the metro into the city centre and planned a little tour of the city as we had the whole day. We had breakfast at a little vegetarian cafe, and then walked for a couple of hours, seeing a couple of parks, and plazas, including a park where it was mandatory to walk barefoot in it. The city was nothing special, similar to many big cities in the UK, apart from the Colombians of course! We were a little worried how we were going to pass the day in this city, but we decided to head up to the Universidad area, which we noticed had an interactive science museum and had a Darwin exhibition currently on
We headed back to the bus station and killed time there before our overnight bus to Bucaramanga, en route for our next stop San Gil. After being in 3 cities, we were ready to hit the country again and a slower pace of life, but first another long bus journey east across the Colombian hills.