Tag Archives: Old town

THIS is Salvador

9 Jul

A cacophony of drums pound out rhythmical African beats. This is Salvador. Muscular bodies soaked in sweat kick, flip and twist inside a Capoeira circle. This is Salvador. Parades of people holding religious statues aloft, march on ancient churches where singing and clapping congregations watch miracles performed. This is Salvador. Young boys with jet black skin and tight curly hair, tirelessly perform back flips on golden sandy beaches. This is Salvador. Baiana women wearing traditional Bahian dress weave along the old town’s cobbled alleyways and past colourful colonial buildings evoking imagery of African slaves. This is Salvador.

Continue reading

Cartagena – A hot and steamy love affair

24 Apr

Cartagena de Indias is the jewel of Colombia’s Caribbean coast. The sophisticated lady of the north. A destination overflowing with romantic notions and rich history. Larger than life stories of colonisation, slavery, piracy and rebellion ooze down the streets and wash around the city walls. The colonial city is so beautiful and well preserved you begin to wonder if you’ve stepped onto the set of a movie. Freshly painted mansions with wooden balconies drip with Bougainvillea. Mosaics of neatly laid cobble-stones lead to plazas filled with shady palm trees where church bells ring out in chorus. Rosy cheeked lovers wander in flip-flops to dine alfresco in the evening breeze and clip-clop past in horse drawn carriages. To add to a permanent feeling of well being around the city, year round blue skies and rich Caribbean waters make it feel like someone has flicked a switch and turned everything into high-definition. The word is out that this is fast developing into Latin America’s most seductive destination.

Continue reading

Quito – a city for everyone

5 Feb

We tapped our toes as we listened to the blind accordion player who stood under an arched alcove belonging to a brightly painted colonial mansion. We dug around in our pockets for some money and the coins which made a clinking sound at the bottom of his collection pot made first him, and then us, smile. We turned on the cobbles and wandered through Quito’s UNESCO World Heritage listed ‘old town’. It was a maze of restored colonial buildings, grand churches and fully functioning monasteries and convents. We passed some of the country’s best museums and grand squares where indigenous women carrying large bundles rested their weary bones on benches. Mouth-watering smells wafted from doorways of family run cafes where cauldrons of soup bubbled and cooks carved chunks of succulent meat from whole roasted pigs. Market stall vendors shouted in our ears as we passed and we declined repeated offers to sell us everything and anything. We felt like we’d stepped back in time with frenetic city life continuing uninterrupted as it had done for hundreds of years. The city belonged to no one and everyone – the tourists, the beggars, the nuns, the indigenous locals, the flea ridden dogs, the drivers of the smoke belching buses, the dirty street kids and the chefs preparing Ecuador’s finest cuisine – all existing side-by-side to make Quito one of Latin America’s most captivating capitals.

Continue reading

%d bloggers like this: