4th – 8th July 2013
Bogotá, the capital of Colombia, was an excellent place to hang out in for 4 nights. We met up with a few friends there – Seb, my fake-brother from Quebec who I hadn’t seen in 8 years (way too long!) and past students from when I taught English, Yohanna and Alejandro.
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Things we did that were good included:
• Teleferico (cable car) up Cerro de Monserrat, one of the mountains towering over the city. This one had a church on top, and another peak had a large statue of Mary on top. Both are lit up with neon lights at night. The views from the top were great, and made me appreciate just how very large Bogotá is (over 8 million peeps). There’s not a lot to do up on the hill, but it was worth the visit for the view!
• Wander around the streets of the old town, La Candelaria. We stayed in an excellent hostel in the area (Masaya Hostal) so had plenty of opportunities to wander around the small cobbled laneways. Lots of interesting street art, cute restaurants and general quirkyness that comes with an old town (e.g. Odd shaped or sized doors)
• Favourite food spots included the strange mushroom restaurant with a dragon theme – Merlin Restaurant Gallery, Israeli restaurant L’Jaim (pronounced L’chaim for those who read English transliteration – Hebrew for ‘cheers’!), and coffee and cake at the French patisserie on Carrera 3 in La Candelaria.
• A night out the town with locals. Yohanna and Alejandro took us to a club Kandelaria where we shared a bottle of Colombian spirits (aguardiente) and they tried to teach us to salsa. Tried… But they had slow students… The club played a mix of salsa, other older traditional music, and current dance tracks with a guy MCing over all of it. Most of the bar/club was up and dancing through most tracks, though evidently some tracks were dance breaks – time to sit and drink up! There were a whole lot of choreographed dances (a la Macarena) that everyone knew the moves to – I tried my best to keep up, but really was floundering about. Until the Macarena actually did come on! The 12 year old within me went mad with joy at actually knowing a dance!
• We went to a fútbol match! Santa Fe de Bogotá vs Cali. It was a lot of fun getting excited and disappointed with the Santa Fe fans as just enjoying the atmosphere. We learned how to tell the referee or players from the other team that they are not very nice people (everyone starts shaking their hands infront of themselves, then shouts ‘hijo de puta!).
• Visited the gold museum – pretty interesting displays and well labelled/explained. I really loved some of the geometric ancient indigenous jewellery.
• Day trip to the Salt Cathedral at Zipaquirá with Yohanna and Alejandro – see my other blog post about that trip
Thanks for a great time Bogotá! And my lovely friends there!