This travel guide to Cartagena, Colombia entertained and intrigued me for two reasons:
1. I've thought many times about visiting Colombia, ever since traveling in Ecuador several years ago. But I've never seen a travel video of Colombia to know much about what it looks like.
2. After watching the Colombia travel guide for a few minutes, I realized a solo traveler made the video. Yes, the solo traveler you see in all the shots.
At first, I presumed a fellow traveler was filming because there are several shots of the subject walking away or toward the camera.
But then I started to see that funny hold-camera-at-arms-length type of shooting and I realized he'd done this all by himself, setting his camera up at various places or walking along with the camera aimed at himself. I was impressed by what he managed to pull off to record parts of his trip.
(I think my arms are too short for this style. The few times I've tried it I looked rather grotesque. But after seeing this video, I might have to try again.)
When I say I've often thought about visiting Colombia, it's because I've been told that Colombia is one of those countries where people speak "clean" Spanish that is easier for non-natives and elementary Spanish speakers to understand.
I found that true in Ecuador and it was a joy to eavesdrop on people and pick up some of the conversation. Or try to speak to locals.
The drug wars we've read about over the years seem to have eased. Not that most Americans could wing their way to Colombia without thinking long and hard about that violent history.
But Colombia has been promoting tourism for a number of years now and that has put a friendly face to the country's name, weakening the drug-lord link we all have in our heads. At least, for me.
The tourism folks say Cartagena has beautiful beaches, friendly people and "exquisite" colonial buildings. The old town is walled by an old Spanish fort, which is visible in the Cartagena video.The city also is full of plazas, palaces, monasteries and churches that tell the story of Colombia's colonial past.
So thanks Matt at The Expeditioner for a little window into Cartagena and Colombia (and for that nice, colorful photo of an actual window into a Colombian home.)I needed that!
Photos: All photos by Matt at The Expeditioner.