Saturday, January 16, 2016

Medellin, Colombia......Our Adventure Begins....

I know we said we'd be staying in Panama for a while but we both were getting antsy and flights to Medellin, Colombia were almost too good to be we went. We scored round trip tickets for just $112 each on Copa Airlines. Our short one hour flight went smoothly and included what Copa calls a light snack.  It was a slice of cold roast beef, some smoked cheese, macaroni salad and a roll along with our choice of beverages including anything with alcohol for FREE also.

Last night our plane landed  around 5pm and we hit the ground running.  We quickly made our way through customs and immigration as we approached the long line of white taxi's just waiting to take money from tourists. As the first driver approached us I asked, "cuanto cuesta," or how much in Spanish.  He said, "sesenta mil," then in English said, "sixty." Sixty thousand Colombian pesos translates to $18.18 which was less than we'd expected to pay, so we jumped inside for a 45-minute drive from the airport to Medellin.

We arrived in the El Poblado section of the city at Hotel El Poblado Boutique Express.  For $40 per night which includes breakfast we found cheap accommodations to go with our cheap airfare. While the room is on the small side it does feature all of the necessities found in any other hotel.

Charming Boutique Hotel

Inside Courtyard With Birds and Skylight

After settling into our hotel room we headed out on the streets to find some grub for dinner.  We settled on a place called, "La Taqueria," which featured locals enjoying Mexican food. Of course since we were in Mexico.......ah.. not really we're in Colombia eating we ordered margaritas for a starter.  The waiter brought us free chips along with salsa, guacamole and some sort of green relish with onions.  For our entrée I had an Aztec burrito.  It was stuffed with chicken and veggies, topped with white cheese and surrounded by pico de gallo. Clyde had a chicken enchilada topped with a red sauce.

Colombian-Mexican Food

Aztec Burrito

After dinner we strolled around the neighborhood getting lost (yes literally) in the Friday night crowds.  We ended up at Parque Lleras which sits smack in the middle of the famous scene of the El Poblado neighborhood.  People were literally lined up waiting to get into some of the clubs for a long night of dancing, drinking and partying with friends.  This is the part of Medellin where the rich and famous play on the weekends.  The place to be seen and see others and mingle with the well to do younger crowd. While it was fun to see we were way too tired to do any partying and made our way back to the hotel around 9pm and settled in for the night.

Today we enjoyed our first breakfast which included just about anything one would want to eat.  Eggs, rice and beans, corn arepas filled with meat, tortillas,waffles, cereal, fruit, yogurt, juice, coffee and more.

After breakfast we left the hotel around 9am and jumped into a taxi headed for Botero Park to explore the city.  Fernando Botero is Colombia's most famous artist and sculpture. He is famous for his depictions of fat people and rather strange distorted images.  Surely when I was voluptuous I didn't get the attention that these figures get, yet for some strange reason apparently people love them.

Sculptures Of Botero Park
Fat Lady And Child

Dressed Up Fat Lady

Fat Man With Short Arms....But How Will He Reach His......

Fat Animals

 Fat Lady With Mirror

Clyde And A Fat Lady

Fat Man With Pointy Pee Pee

Headless Fat Lady

Fat Hand

Fat Lady With Wings

Fat Man With Abs?
Standing On Someone

Fat Horse

Botero Park is full of these sculptures and nearby is the majestic Palacio de la Cultura.  Once an old government building it's now home to many offices.  Since today was Saturday and all of the offices were closed we freely roamed through the majestic palace free of charge.

Cultural Palace

Inside Courtyard

Nearby was the Museo de Antioquia which was full of artwork, sculptures and other displays by local artists. We explored the three floors of exhibits while some were stranger than others.  One piece of artwork on the wall had a chair carefully positioned directly in front of it.  So I assumed that just perhaps IF I sat down in the chair I would see something special in the piece of art?  But NO.....apparently the chair was PART of the art and I was scolded by a guard to not sit on the chair. After that the guards seemed to follow us from room to room and at one point we even saw police nearby.......perhaps watching the unruly gringo lady who dared to sit on part of the art. Colombia is divided up into "departments" and one of them is called Antioquia, where the city of Medellin is located.  So this museum is representative of this part of Colombia and its' artists.

Museum Antioquia

Sculpture Of A Thumb

Resin Village

Cutout Of Fernando Botero
This Is The Artist That Makes Statues Of Fat People

Photo Of Fernando Botero

The Palacio Nacional, or National Palace was once a government building that was transformed into one of the most impressive malls in the area.  Featuring over 400 stores, restaurants and more it's quite a sight to see and something we're glad to have stumbled upon.

On The Streets

Centro Commercial Of Palacio Nacional

Inside Centro Commercial

Tons Of Tenis For Sale

From there we strolled through miles and miles of streets lined with shopping and crowds of locals taking advantage of the bargains.  While I expected Medellin to be full of tourists and it's not, we seem to be mingling among mostly locals with not another gringo in sight.  And in the absence of gringos there's certainly not anyone around that speaks English either, once again forcing us to practice our Spanish.

Cold Water.....Not In A Bottle But In A Bag
Only 30 cents.....But...How Do We Drink It?
Bite A Hole And Suck It Out

Busty Mannequins

Fruit Vendor

What Do You Think This Place Sells?
Jugo De Naranja (Orange Juice)

A Living Statue

Anatomically Correct Briefs

Piggy Banks

Doggie Boots And Accessories For Sale

When lunchtime came around today I managed to pick out a restaurant full of locals enjoying some typical Colombian food.  I choose the "menu of the day" which featured a bowl of corn and potato soup, rice, beans, salad and filet of chicken with barbeque sauce.  Clyde went for a hearty meal that came in a bowl and featured:  sausage, ground beef, beans, rice, corn, plantain, potato chip slices and avocado alongside a plate of white rice and salad and a arepa. Our total for this meal was around $9 and that included two bottles of Pepsi also.

Lunch Today For Me Began With Soup

Then Chicken, Rice, Cole Slaw, Plantain And Arepa

Clyde's Artery Clogging Bowl Of Sausage, Ground Beef, Beans,
Corn, Avocado, Rice, Plantain, Crunchy Noodles (we think these were chicharons or pork rinds)

AND.....There's More.....White Rice, Cole Slaw And Arepa (corn meal hard pattie)

In passing we noticed a grocery store so we went in to take a peek.  I came out with a one pound bag of locally grown coffee for around $1.50.  I just love to sample coffee in our travels so we'll take this one back to Panama to enjoy. At the register we looked up to see packs of cigarettes for sale.  Brand names around $1 per pack and generic brands even sad that they sell for so little here.

After walking and exploring all day long we took the subway back to El Poblado and then a taxi back to our hotel.  Tired from a long day out we rested up a bit before heading out for dinner. Stopped at a place called, "3 Tipicos," and ordered a mixed plate of meat to share that came with sliced tomatoes, two arepas, and creole potatoes.  Clyde mellowed out while sipping on his first bottle of Colombian beer.  Again the prices seemed to be high at this cutsy restaurant in a ritzy part of the city, but once again we were wrong.  The meal was designed for TWO people and priced at 29,000 COP's which converts to $8.79, plus a little more for drinks.

Dinner For Two

Colombian Beer

The Sign Says It All
This Restaurant Literally Had A Line Out To The Street Last Night So They Must Be Good

While In Ecuador We Ate Guinea Pig.....So While In Colombia We
Ate.....?  Actually We Don't Know Why It's Called This Or What They Serve

  Who knows where tomorrow will take us in as we explore more of Medellin, 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

1 comment:

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