Tuesday, April 29, 2008
Ok, it's been a very long time since I posted. Obviously, the fall of 2007 was hectic with multiple art shows. After the Cascabel Show in December, I took 2 weeks vacation in Colombia! Yes, Colombia, the country. It was marvelous, exciting, eclectic, historic, luscious. I went with my daughter Alexandra, son-in-law Jorge (who is from Colombia), and my friend Rico. We had a blast sight-seeing, tasting regional foods, and salsa dancing in Bogota, Cartagena, Playa Blanca, and Bucaramunga. Above is an aerial photograph of Bogota, a teeming city of 9 million people. The photograph was taken from Monserrate, a mountain-top shrine and cathedral. It was magnificent. Rico and I took the cable car straight up the mountain, through the forest, while Alex and Jorge walked up with hundreds of pilgrims. Here is another view.
In Bogota, we stayed at the Playtypus Hostel. It was highly recommended by Lonely Planet. It was a very funky and eclectic place, and we met many travelers from all over the world-- Germany, Korea, Sweeden, France, Australia, Brazil, and one guy from California (the only other American and the only other nonsmoker). Here, Alex and Jorge pose in front of the Playtypus. I would recommended it if you want to stay in a cheap place in the Candelaria District, a quaint old section of downtown Bogota. The Playtapus is one of many hostels and old hotels in La Candelaria.
Since I am a fan of history and historic architecture, I was in my element, walking the streets of La Candelaria, drinking in the scenery, and taking pictures. This is just one of many streetscapes.
We visited several museums, including the Museo del Oro, the Botero Museum, and a museum commemorating Simon Bolivar. Here, Rico and I dance with some Botero dancers in the museum.
All over Colombia we tried many delicious and unusual breads. Here, Jorge tries one of them. Below, is a paneria with a selection of tastey carbs. We also sampled many Colombia foods and different regional drinks such as aguardiente, canelazo de fruitas, Cerveza Aguila, Cerveza Costeno, and chicha, an Incan alcoholic beverage made from fermented corn and pineapple. Below, Alex poses with a bottle of homemade chicha. She's wearing an antique jacket that she purchased in the open-air mercado.
The market was amazing. You could buy anything-- from food, jewelry, and electronics to a dead calf head. We spent several hours touring the mercado, munching on treats, and spending money.
We also saw many magnificent cathedrals, eclectic murals, quaint buildings, historic places, and hot dance clubs in Bogota. Here, Alex and I pose in La Plaza de Bolivar with the Christmas lights. For more pictures, check out the link to my Flickr photostream.