A little piece of Berlin in Cartagena

Before I continue with the questions some of you had yesterday, I'd like to show you another great place in town. After several suggestions from different sides about El Bistro, we went there for a beer the other evening. The laid back El Bistro is located on one of the busy side streets in the historic center and easy to walk by if you don't know where you're going. And easy to accidentally stumble into as well, depending on where your fate might bring you for the night.

The restaurant part looked busy at the back and the bar area by the entrance as well. Immediately after sitting down in the comfortable armchair by the little library, I realized we were surrounded by German art and photography, maps of Berlin and humorous cartoon imitating the happy invasion of West Berlin when the wall was torn down. You might know that Berlin is one of my favorite places in the whole world and I have always wanted to live there a part of my life, if it wasn't for the damn cold weather ten months a year that is. Instead of actually living there, the city has stolen many of my days and nights. Weekends and weeks over the years - often while celebrating life with good friends in just the way that's so typical to Berlin. So to find this place full of liberal Berlinish post war propaganda on the walls, I couldn't resist but to speak to one of the owners.

Mirko opened this place ten years ago with his (German) business partner, relocating from their first restaurant in Popay├ín to the more busy Cartagena and they've been hands full ever since. "But Mirko isn't a very German name" I asked him "Yeah it's more Russian isn't it? My parents are 100% German but they are just a bit like that" - "So don't you ever miss Berlin, being so far from home and a damned good home too? - "I often miss it, but who can stand the rain and the cold?" ... of course.

We haven't tried the food as we're on a strict budget to get our damn boat ready already, but according to the menu and what people have told us, it's known to be a place for good food at reasonable prices. Cartagena is a pretty expensive city in general, at least if you compare to other cities like Santa Marta where we just came from. A main course at Le Bistro is priced around 20.000-35.000 COP (12-18 USD) which should be considered a good price compared to the rest of the city, which seem to average a bit higher (there are cheaper restaurants to be found if you look outside of the center of course). El Bistro is also a popular meeting place for backpackers and the happy hour's obviously very cheap. Less than $5 USD for a beer, just like in Berlin.

Click here for some photos from my latest trip to Berlin, when I visited friends and Europe last summer.