Following Bourdain to La Cevicheria

I’m a huge fan of Anthony Bourdain and his show No Reservations, so when I arrived in Cartagena I knew I wanted to visit one of the places he ate on his Colombia episode, a little spot in the Ciudad Amurallada (walled city) called La Cevicheria.

The place is tucked away on Calle Stuart, and I think I walked past it twice while looking for it. In my defense, it was a little early in the morning for lunch and no one was seated at the outdoor tables yet. But eventually I realized the little restaurant was in fact my destination, so I took a chair at the little sidewalk dining area under one of the umbrellas. Continue reading

El Palacio de la Inquisición


One of the most interesting places I went to in Cartagena was el Palacio de la Inquisición (Palace of the Inquisition), which is now a museum. It houses a permanent exhibit on the Spanish Inquisition on the ground floor as well as other historical exhibitions and rotating displays on the upper level. Continue reading

Sunburn and a mud volcano


My first full day in Cartagena, I started off early having gone to bed around 8 PM the night before. After scoring a map at the Tourism Office near the Puerto de Reloj, I just started walking around until I saw the famous wall that surrounds the old city and just walked right on up. The views from on top were just incredible — the beautiful, colorful colonial architecture of the town on one side of the wall and a huge stretch of deserted beach and water on the other. I just wandered along the top of the wall for maybe an hour until I reached the end, but when I went down to street level I was in a very unfamiliar area. There were almost no tourists there and it definitely seemed seedier, so I just turned around and went back up along the wall. In retrospect I’m sure it was completely safe and I wish I had stayed and explored more, but this was my first day of traveling alone so I was understandably a bit nervous and didn’t want to stray too far from familiar territory! If I return to Cartagena (and I certainly hope to), I’ll be sure to go back and investigate the area more.
Continue reading

The Great Colombian Journal Hunt

I always meant to pack a journal to write in on my first solo trip, but it never happened. It may have been that my last week in New York was just so hectic I didn’t get a chance to buy one, or the fact that I came down with some kind of mutant head cold just days before setting off. In any case, it wasn’t until I was on the plane that I realized I hadn’t brought anything to write in, but at that point I wasn’t really concerned. This was the first trip of its kind for me, so who knew if I would have the time or inclination to write about my adventures as they were happening? I figured I could always just buy something once I landed in Cartagena.

This proved to be easier said than done, but in retrospect it was a blessing in disguise. It led to one of the stories I’ve told people over and over about how amazing the people you meet on the road can be.

Continue reading