|Street of Bogota|
|Hanging flowers outside of a museum in Bogota, though now I can't remember which (naturally).|
|Bolivar Square - llamas and pigeons everywhere! At one point a guy walked his llama to our right and we starting hearing running water. We thought the llama was peeing, but it was actually the guy....|
|Feeding pigeons in Bolivar Square. Apparently this is going to be a recurring activity for us. We did the same thing in Turkey.|
|Inside Zipacura. None of my photos inside really turned out, but it was neat. Though we didn't want to pay the extra money for the English-speaking guide, so what's written on the wikipedia page is about all I know.|
|Inside the Centro Commercial Santa Fe in Bogota. I was cracking up at this little animal pen. You can rent them for kids and they scoot around the mall on them. We were staying with a friend's sister in Bogota, so we checked out the mall to compare clothing prices. Based on our limited survey of the GAP, US prices are about 50% cheaper.|
|In Medellin. We happened to be there on a holiday, so a lot of things were closed which was disappointing, but it's a really neat city. Lots of young people and lots of things to do.|
|Plaza Botero, Medellin.|
Guinea pig betting in Plaza Botero. Spectators put coins on top of the bowls to guess which one the guinea pig will enter. If he enters your bowl, you win! I think. It was unclear whether the organizer actually gave money to any of the winners, or if you were just forfeiting your coins to watch a guinea pig scurry around.
|At the Museo de Antioquia. By Frank Stella. I want to make "his" and "hers" quilts with the design.|
|Medellin metrocable. It's part of the metro system (which is much better than the one here in DC...) and connects some of the poorest neighborhoods in the area to the city center. It also goes to Arvi Park, but unfortunately we weren't able to go.|
|Empty street in the early morning in Salento, in the Zona Cafetera (coffee zone).|
|I think this was my favorite place outside of Bogota. The architecture and colors were amazing!|
|Naturally, we went on a coffee tour in Salento. We did this one. Very interesting and thorough.|
|Different stages of coffee beans, from unripe through roasted and ground.|
|Grinding freshly roasted beans!|
|Pineapple! (They grow a lot more than coffee on the farm we visited).|
|Exploring the Cocora Valley in the rain.|
|Castillo San Felipe de Baraja in Cartagena|
|Jugo de mora! (blackberry juice) I love the jugo in Colombia. So fresh and refreshing, which was extremely important in the high temperatures of the Caribbean coast.|
|These sculptures were everywhere. I think this is in Getsemani as we walked from the Castillo to the Walled City.|
|Clock tower at one of the entrances to the Walled City.|
|Inside the walls.|
Overall, we had a really good time. Finding food was difficult at first - we're both vegetarian - but got easier as the trip went along. Surprisingly, I think some of the best food we had was in Salento, a town of roughly 4,000 people.
- Coffee tour
- Montserrate at night. We ate chocolate completo (hot chocolate, cheese, and bread) in a small cafe at the top. Muy romantique! (We tried going during the day, but the queue was at least 3 hours long. So glad we ended up going at night. The views over the city were beautiful, and we didn't have to wait at all!)
Things I didn't like so much:
- Playa Blanca - mostly because we're not really beach people and you have to pay to sit anywhere; also, we don't eat seafood, so the lunch options were quite limited
- Zipacura - probably would have been better if we knew what the guide was saying; also, we went with some strange people who kind of soured the experience for us
- La Puerta Falsa - this place got great reviews on TripAdvisor and our guidebook, so we stopped in our first day in Colombia. Maybe it's because we're veg, but it was super disappointing. The people working there were all very nice, but the food wasn't as good as we were expecting based on the reviews. The chocolate completo we had on top of Montserrate was much better.
Lastly, I mentioned earlier that I learned a bit of Spanish using these podcasts (just the free level, not the subscription options) and they worked great for giving me a base. Unfortunately, I fell off the Spanish-learning bandwagon a week or so after we returned, but I'm determined to become proficient in another language within the next year or so, so I've jumped back on! I'm using Duolingo for now. I just started so I can't provide a review, but I've heard good things. It's a similar platform to Rosetta Stone, but it's free. The concept is really cool - check it out.
Okay, adiós mis amigos. Hasta pronto.