? This is the worst place we've visited in Colombia! Here all of the horror stories told about the country are accumulated in this city. Even Medellin with its approximately 5.000 serious crimes per year, appeared much nicer. But when we were going here - we were striving at last to heat and to the sea!
Actually, we should had guessed already at the entrance that that was something wrong with this city. We were driving here for 22! hours, if not more! And this is instead of alleged 12-13. The evening before we boarded the bus in San Gil (contemplating during that the provincial people loading on the bus to Bogota - with the POLICE!!!) and in the morning we supposed to be in Santa Marta. But far from it - because of heavy rains the roads were eroded. And since our bus was going only along one road, the driver had to turn around and detour - as a result + 10 hours on the road.
Typical facade of Santa Marta:
As a result we arrived in the city in the evening. Again get out on some road, took a taxi and went to find the hostel. When found - we were very surprised and decided that it didn't work, because the entrance door was closed on the grid and barn lock! It turned out - this is normal since it's hot, all windows and doors are open, but barred. And here I remembered my own adventures in Chile. Namely, it was already dark, the road on which we had to continue our way was washed away and we decided to read the news on the Internet and find out whether it is possible to change the ticket to Bogota, if all the coast was washed away, and a little bit more and emergency would be declared in the country. The owners of the hostel, first of all, were very surprised that we prepared to go out on the street in general, and with bags with documents with us, in particular. 'Leave here - it'll be safer' - we were persuaded by the owners. Remembering the Chilean story, I offered to listen to the local. And only when we reached the waterfront, it became clear why we did the right thing:
The evening was dark, and as it turned out in the morning, at night the city is much better than at the light of day - at least, dirt and debris are not visible, and only the stench and antisocial element around.
Actually it's a city beach right near the port, don't know who swim here, but I didn't risk to wet even the heels. Early morning - about 9 o'clock:
One of two decorations of the waterfront and city promenade - reminded me of Vigelan Park in Oslo - the same ugliness:
Well, here you are - the normal state. It's already morning - and that guy hasn't still woken up:
is the oldest city of Colombia, with which many historic events are connected. As much as I was confident in the charm of this city, the same negative emotions I had got from Bogota, but in reality it was the opposite. And this we found almost the only decent place to have breakfast:
A wonderful phrase: 'For a long time the city served as a haven and a base for British and Dutch corsairs, so a little people are surprised with the fact that this beautiful port is still a haven of smugglers and drug dealers, and its brilliant once beauty has faded from dust and exhaust'.
One of the main squares in the city centre, with the monument to Bolivar, of course:
The very central square of the city with the Cathedral:
Don't know why, but the Cathedral at this time was closed, but we met a group of schoolchildren on tour:
I liked the texture of the building:
Houses of the Old Town:
There is the indisputable authority of the police in Colombia. One police officer may disperse the crowd of hooligans:
San Francisco Square - cozy corner, left from the times of former power:
Also from there:
ATTENTION! This is just what I've said at the beginning - a vivid example of life here. This house can be a grocery store, cobbler shop, an Internet Café or a hotel - doesn't matter, all will look exactly like this - grid and barn lock on the back side. And this despite the fact that it's a working day and you can buy something in the shop. Since Santa Marta is on the Caribbean coast, the climate is warm and stuffy, so all try to keep the windows and doors open, but from the local lumpen they save themselves in such a way:
I think that even without knowing Spanish it is clear what is forbidden in this institution:
I'd like to mount this picture. By the way, this is the hotel: