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Posted in COLOMBIA with tags , , , , , on March 5, 2012 by pajazzoproductions

Cartagena is a two-faced Joker; the demarcation line between black and white drawn by the 14:th century stonewall still encircling the Old Town.

Inside is beautiful, well-kept colonial buildings, brightly coloured, voluminous flowerarrangements overwhelming quaint wooden balconys, churches and parks, small squares providing shade and conversation. But to me it all feels like an architectonial Disneyland.

You have your backpackers and your cruiseshippers, your cops but no robbers; maybe the occasional pusher but that’s all a part of the local charm. There’s streetpeddlers trying to sell you more or less the same kind of merchandise from wall to wall, restaurant and bars with prices adjusted for westerners with bulgy pockets.

The stonewall still seems to be serving its initial protective purpose; only in these modern times it’s the locals who get stopped and search at checkpoints set up in the walls vault openings.

It is in many ways a semi-gated community, for the viewing pleasure of the visitor, but where non-authorized locals isn’t welcomed with the same warm embrace.

We stay two nights inside before we move just a stonethrow away, to the Getsemani area, close enough to see the walls but still a world away. I’m not trying to romanticize it, the Calle Media Luna is still littered with hostels, much as the whole area, but here at least you get the feeling that people actually live, breath, eat, shit, cry, laugh.

In the Old City, noboby laughs. They take pictures.

Like this.

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