Dan and I decided to walk to the Palace of the Inquisition and the Castillo de San Felipe.
Here is a screen grab of approximately our route:
We sanitized our water (can’t be too safe) and headed out into the heat.
Our first stop was located in a plaza; plenty of carts with people shouting things at us to buy their snacks. We walked right through and into the museum. The price to enter was 17,000 Colombian Pesos (≈ $6 USD) per person. Okay. We purchased our tickets and walked towards the door to enter and were stopped by a man who told us about a tour option (in Spanish, so I can’t say word for word what he said). He told us, in English, it would be 35,000 CP (≈ $12 USD) for a guided tour that would explain the history and detailed information about the events there.
We opted out as we are “ballin’ on a budget.”
Entering, perhaps exiting, into the main courtyard, we paused to look at our maps. Another man approached us bugging us about the same thing. Only, he tried to disguise his service by telling us we can ask him any questions. No gracias. No gracias.
Dan and I wandered around without a guide. Although we saved some money, we had no idea what was going on. There were maybe five signs that were in English, but not enough to allow us to understand what the hell we were looking at.
Weird torture instruments, a mirror, a guillotine, OOOH! AC!, a movie in Spanish, a sword! Cool!
After about an hour, we headed towards our second destination. One-way streets were overcrowded with tiny cars and small motorcycles as we walked against traffic, on the road, because 80% of the sidewalks were destroyed. Pedestrians walked in front of cars to cross the street, completely unafraid of being pummeled. Maybe because the cars were tiny.
We crossed a semi-hectic intersection and walked along the water, looking at the towering, modern city buildings across the way. By the time we made it to Castillo de San Felipe, we were starving.
Looking at our phones and doing terrible conversion math in our heads, we hangrily made it to the mall where we ended up eating at a place called “Presto.” Which is basically a McDonalds but with house-made food. When we finished, we decided to visit the fort the next day, as the weather was pretty poopy.
Dan and I grabbed some very large, cheap beers (Aguila) that were less than a dollar a piece, and walked along the old city wall.
Before I continue, let me paint you a picture:
All of the buildings are colorful; pastel blues, pinks, white walls with blue trimmed windows, copper walls with dark wooden doors that are 15 feet high with old, metal locks and chains, vibrant yellows and oranges, velvety reds, and so on.
The colors of the city, alone, are captivating. The structures are elegant with statues and sculpted pillars. The city wall is material from several hundreds of years ago and contains many sentry boxes, scattered canons and plenty of little windows you can sit in.
As the sun was setting under a storm, Dan and I sat inside a window and made a cheers with our ridiculously large beers.
We planned on joining the hostel’s free salsa dance lessons, but neglected to join. The atmosphere at this place is nothing compared to the one we enjoyed in Old San Juan. This place is too large. Most people are traveling with groups or already have formed a clique. Which is fine. Dan is a great companion and I generally don’t care. About most things.
We cooked a dinner comprised of a CRAP ton of pasta, a ton of broccoli, cucumber, a green pepper and some sort of verde dressing.1 Now there are four full, quart-sized zip bags in the fridge for us to eat the next two days because, like I said… “ballin’ on a budget.”
Until next time,
1 We thought that everything being green was funny.