today, i happily send greetings and glad tidings to you from detroit. but the sunshine, the ceviche, and the coastal life i share is straight from the colombian coast– cartagena’s finest sunsets, seafood, and charming architectural delights.

i traveled south for a quick, four-day trip to the caribbean coast for a wedding. what better way to experience a culture than through such a sacred tradition?! the city, one of colombia’s oldest, has two parts– “new” and “old”. while our hotel was in new and directly on the beach (the picture above is from my hotel window), the highlight of the cultural experience for me was in the ciudad vieja. a 300 year old wall surrounds the ciudad vieja, and the buildings are bright with HUGE doors. there is a secret, smaller door for the tiny humans to pass through. it’s pretty fantastic.

the food of cartagena, overall, was heavy on the meat-eating and frying. i relaxed my rules and decided that experiencing the cultural realities of cartagena–not demanding to know where the meat actually came from and the raising practices of said meat. i still always opted for the fish because i LOVE fish. and the seafood here was stellar.

pulpo carpaccio de la vitrolla

i ate my favorite “fancy” meal at a restaurant in la ciudad vieja called la vitrolla. a cuban joint, it had an atmosphere and charm that was ideal for a little relaxation and culinary comfort, a welcomed break from the humid streets of cartagena. we ordered three appetizers: a pulpo (octopus) carpaccio, a ceviche mixto, and camarones de ajo (shrimp with garlic).

ceviche mixto de la vitrolla

camarones de ajo de la vitrolla

i can’t even begin to explain the depth, the character, the delight of these dishes. i was lamenting the fact that i don’t live on a caribbean coastline, until i remembered that i do live in michigan, a state completely surrounded by water. perhaps i won’t be able to attempt the same savory sumptuousness as these, but i feel the fish inspiration, for sure.

felicidades to the newly weds! hasta luego, colombia! i hope to be back for a visit soon!

cartagena from the water