Sunday, January 17, 2016

From The Hill To The Cable Car....Dinosaurs And More.....

This morning we took a $3 taxi ride up to Cerro Nutibara, a rocky hill formation in Medellin to take in the sights of the cityscape.  Cerro is the Spanish word for "hill" and Nutibara was the name of an indigenous chief.  The hill features trails with a sculpture park, an open air theatre and it's main feature....Pueblito Paisa.  Initially built as a reproduction of an authentic "pueblo" or Colombian village, today many of the buildings house shops but a few are set up just as they were in the past.  There's a chapel, a school, barber shop to name a few of the representative buildings. While the pueblo is small at least the price was right....FREE admission with a small museum on the premises also.

Pueblito Paisa

More Of The Pueblo

A Tiny Chapel

Small School

Haircut And A Shave?

Views From The Top

Sculpture Park Along The Trails

Locals Having A Fiesta In The Park

Resting With Some Water

To the local people of Medellin, the hill serves as a place to get out in the fresh air for a walk or bike ride up.  Hoards of locals were out in workout clothes, many with their dogs, bicycles or families to experience the warm sunny breezes of mountain air.

From there we took another taxi back down the hill and hopped out at a metro station.  From there we took not one but two metro's which lead us to a tramway.  Medellin has not one but two different cable car lines that connect the poor neighborhoods up in the mountains to the lower part of the city. To us it looked like any ski resort or "touristy" cable car ride in the world, but here it's an important means of transportation for the local folks.  The price is included with your metro ticket and offers up an amazing view of the city. With three different stops along the way, the cars go up the mountain then down into a valley for a second stop before ascending once again to the top. For us it was merely a cheap tour of the city as we rode all the way up and stayed on for the ride down.

Metro Station

Artwork On Stairs

Cable Car

Up...Up....And Away...

Looking Down Over The Neighborhoods

The other cable car line in the city serves the people as well but offers a stop at a mountain top park, something that we'll do another day this week. 

Our last taxi drive was a friendly female who made a few suggestions about other places we should see while in that part of the city.  She suggested a stop at Explora Park and said the botanical garden is nearby also, so we headed over there next.  Explora Park is an interactive science museum with over 300 interactive attractions.  It includes a 3D auditorium, planetarium, television studio, plant nursery and aquarium, the largest in all of South America. Exhibits were both inside a mega structure and outside in the open air for families and kids of all ages to enjoy.

Explora Park

Vendors Everywhere

Golden Frogs

Exhibit Of Dinosaurs

It's Alive.....RUN! 

While all of Explora Park was setup nicely and impressed us, were we ever surprised to discover a live dinosaur roaming around the park terrorizing guests. I nearly had to run for my life as this entertaining creature with an attitude was prancing around and growling at park goers.  As you can imagine kids of all ages were running and screaming while others posed for pictures next to the scary looking giant.

Dinosaur Terrorizing Kids

Once we had enough exploring at Explora Park we headed across the road to Medellin's Botanical Gardens.  Again admission was free so we took advantage of the lush lined walkways admiring the plants while locals and their families chilled out in the grass on blankets.

Orchid Park Within Botanical Gardens


Locals Hangin In The Garden

Giant Bamboo

Ride Anyone?


From there we took the metro back to El Poblado, the section of the city where our hotel is located.  Time to relax and chill out a while before heading out to dinner.

Sunday night in Medellin and many of the shops and restaurants are closed.  We did notice the good ole US fast food chains to be open along the way. Last night while reading some info about Medellin online I stumbled on a list of some of the best restaurants in Medellin. One of the first was a place called, "Mondongos," which just happened to be nearby our hotel.  And since it was one of the few places open tonight, even better.  As on other nights we'd passed by this place it was packed and I wondered if we'd find a seat. The word "mondongo" is the name given to a traditional Colombian type of tripe (cow stomach) soup made with vegetables.  While I certainly am not willing to indulge in tripe we ventured into the restaurant to see just what they had to offer.

I choose a fried fish filet that was served with patacones (flattened fried plantain), avocado slices and green tomato slices. Patacones in Panama and Costa Rica are sliced plantain chips but these were the size of large pancakes but smashed very thin and sweet.  Typically patacones are made with green plantain which is NOT sweet.

Clyde choose a pork loin with mushrooms that came smothered in a white sauce, plantain, fries, avocado, an arepa and green tomato slices. While the meals we choose seemed high priced at 26,000 and 30,000 pesos that converts to only $8 and $9. We added a diet and regular Coke and the total was right around $20, so really not bad at all.

Restaurant From The Outside

Aji Picante, Aji Dulce and Salsa Tartar
Colombian Hot Sauce, Sweet Sauce and Tarter Sauce

The Meals Were HUGE!
Arepa, Avocado, Fries Buried Beneath is Plantain and Pork In White Sauce

HUGE Fish Filet and TWO Huge Patacones, Avocado, Green Tomatoes

As the streets become quiet on this Sunday night in Medellin we headed to our hotel a bit earlier than usual.  But we need to rest up for another full day tomorrow that involves a long bus ride and plenty of getting physical. More fun on the horizon in the manana as we head out to the colorful village of Guatape, Colombia.......along the gringo trail.

Terry and Clyde are able to "Travel The World House Sitting"  and so can you!  We have created a website to help people who want to learn about house sitting.    Information for both the prospective house sitter and for someone who needs a house sitter.

the New Website                          -->  CLICK HERE

How to Get Your First House Sit -->  CLICK HERE

How to find a house sitter          ---->  CLICK HERE



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