Sightseeing and flying: From Bogota to Cartagena

On the move again. A few days ago a long haul flight from Amsterdam to Bogota with KLM. Today a short domestic flight with LATAM from the Colombian capital Bogota to the Caribbean city Cartagena.

Even though it is only a short flight of about one and a half hour, most of the day is spent packing, driving, waiting, flying, driving and unpacking.

  • Packing suitcase
  • Check-out Casa Dann Carlton, Bogota
  • 40 minute taxi ride to the airport
  • Check in at El Dorado Bogota
  • Waiting time at the airport
  • 1½ t flight with LATAM
  • 1 minute waiting time at baggage reclaim
  • 20 minute taxi ride to Cartagena Bocagrande
  • Check-in at Hotel Almirante, Cartagena
  • Unpacking suitcase

Travelling could be boring, but fortunately it is not, when you like travelling a lot: Taxi rides dubs as sightseeing tours: From the taxi you see landscapes, urban landscapes and means of transport and traffic; a part of a country’s culture.

At the airport

Airports – including El Dorado – offers hustle and bustle and excitement. There is always something to watch; architecture, shops and elegant and not-so elegant travelers plus views of colorful plane-tails right outside the window.

In major airports there are usually plenty of restaurants (or diners) and as we are at El Dorado around midday, we eat lunch in Kokoriko; A local steak-chicken-grill restaurant (chain). A so-so experience, lukewarm and bland.

After dinner we walk around the airport and notice today’s main attraction:
A display shaped like an oversize trolley suitcase. A huge ‘prohibited’ sign around a glass montre showing a large number of forbidden (hand luggage) objects:

Scissors, nail scissors, screwdrivers, knives, liquids, gases, dumbbells (?!), hammers, toy hammers and a selfie stick size XL.

Very well made and most illustrative.

Onboard the plane

A recent tragic incident with a South American plane flying off with too little fuel in the tank led me to check the list of aircraft safety ratings for the first time ever before booking my ticket.

It turned out that KLM, whom we flew out with, is at the top on 5th place, and LATAM, which I chose for the domestic flight has a fair ranking, 38th place, ahead of well-known European and American airlines.

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Check-in and boarding was fast and easy. However, just before take-off, there are scary creaking sounds, which I have never heard before on airplanes. Worrying, but a look around to the locals onboard calms me down: It seems these are common sounds …

The flight is smooth and not even a bit of lightning disturbs the trip. The landing is also perfect, a good flight. And finally: Never before have I seen bags appear so fast on the conveyor belt (of course, Cartagena Airport is a smaller airport).

Arrival

Outside the airport we are being waved to the side by a local with a sign ‘authorized taxis’. We arrive at a counter where we receive a receipt and are guided to a taxi.
Reassuring, after all taxi hijackings do occur in Colombia.

Without a word, the driver drives us to the hotel, where we are warmly greeted and informed about the hotel and its amenities.

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Quickly we check out the gym which is quite small and with few machines and benches. Fortunately, there are free weights plus – a bonus – a small functional training area, which is however, when we look in, is occupied by a group of children playing.

The spa turns out to be a tiny sauna and some treatment rooms …

On the website, the hotel looks like a luxury resort. Five stars and some nice facilities.
It is very nice, but more of a slightly aging family-holiday-hotel, with a predominantly traditional-tourist-meals menu in the restaurant.
Our room (on the 13th floor) is o.k., very spacious, and the bed is super.

We quickly settle in and it is time for a short walk on the beach before dark. After that, we go to the bar to get the compulsory holiday pina colada; Here in a smart modern version in a glass jug. A rich, tasty and filling cocktail.

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Dinner at the hotel restaurant; Husband Henrik has broccoli soup and filet mignon and I gazpacho, cold soup, and spaghetti bolognese. Tasty, but a bit on the sweet side.

Then to bed … with the picture of the beautiful ‘blue hour’ image (right after sunset), sky, clouds and sea on my retina.

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