Well, let me tell you about my most recent "Hell YES!" decision I am sure to revel in for the rest of my life!
|Next thing I know: I'm in Colombia!|
As one of my best friends rattled on with her contagious zest and elaborate plans listing fast approaching dates I got lost for a second. My young life flashed in front of me: I was 15 and back in my favourite geography class. South America. A strategically important port. Chocolate. Coffee. And of course, narco mafia, cocaine. Pablo Escobar. Thank you movie/TV stereotypes! The soundtrack playing in my subliminal cortex: Romancing The Stone!
There was no time to Google anything. Just pack the cabin luggage, grab my passport, kiss the kids and get ready to experience the very essence of the word: AVENTURAS!
|Fav coffee place|
- Caribbean Sea breeze that hugs you as soon as you step out of the Rafael Nùñez International Airport whispering: "Life Is Good"
- Coffee - thick and powerful, nutty with the hint of caramel that removed in a single sip all remnants of our red-eye flight tiredness; Se Volvió Prispri - a little, elegant, home-made, cool piece of heaven
- Cobblestone streets - close to 500 years of history polished into the stones lining town squares and corners. From the Inquisition (the Museum of Inquisition serves as a somber reminder of atrocities done in the name of the cross - too bad CNN wasn't around to report on it) to Inspiration - street-art, performers, entertainers, ladies selling fruit in traditional costumes and an explosion of colours at street vendor offerings
|Colombian tote bags|
|Breakfast is ready!|
- People - with learning English still being considered a privilege reserved mostly for well-to-do families it is amazing to experience how easy it is to connect with people while knowing only a few Spanish words (note to self: learn Spanish!). Thank you Google translate App! There is something so unbelievably easy and generous in the collective demeanour of Colombians. They simply love life. They get it. Minutes are not rushed. Meals are not gobbled. Steps are taken in a leisurely way.
|Fernando Botero at Plaza de Santo Domingo|
Cartagena was also a home of South America's most famous writer and one of the greatest Colombians.
Gabriel José de la Concordia García Márquez. The Nobel Prize for Literature laureate was a journalist, short-story writer, novelist and screen-writer who studied at Cartagena's local university and made home within the old city walls.
|Mmmm... Arepa con queso|
- And now that I've opened the Pandora's box of all Foods irresistible, here it is:
|Devil's shrimps and Mango octopus ceviche|
|Ultimate favorite: Ceviche|
|Seafood coconut curry|
|Everything at La Paletteria|
|Mango-2-go @ Mila Vargas, the Queen of brunch|
|Coconut-lime smoothie (for Juan with mint!)|
All this and I haven't even touched on the Argentinian steak-house or many non-food experiences such as Castillo de San Felipe, the origin and faith of the natives, Convento de la Popa, historical term: vomito negro - I am sure to use not as a medical diagnosis but a character description; the dark muds of the near-by volcano, the pink sands of unspoiled beaches and coral-reefs of Rosario islands. The Havana club with authentic jazz or the cool of finest linen fashion the Clinton's have already discovered. Witnessing the full moon during the horse-carriage ride through the narrow cobblestone streets. Experiencing Colombian authentic chocolate making process from start to finish making my own truffles to go at museum of chocolate. Dear TripAdvisor, I owe you so many 5-star reviews!
|A 5-star experience with dear friends @ CHOCO museo|
|Flight there: well hello Houston, TX of all places, HA, HA!|