Friday, December 26, 2014

Colombia: Bogota

I will come right out and say it: I was prepared to dislike Bogota. I'd read that it is huge, dirty, dangerous, and rainy. The first was true-Bogota is enormous! And certainly the last is normally true, but I had great weather. However, it turned out that I really liked Bogota. This had a lot to do with the fact that I stayed with a good friend I worked with last year, and she and her husband showed me around the city. I think finding my way around otherwise would have been overwhelming! With 2-4 of us going to many sites, taking a taxi was quite affordable so I didn't have much experience with public transit. We saw many different highlights:

Plaza de Bolivar
What would any South American city be without its huge plaza, after all?

Paloquemao Market- a popular, huge market selling everything. Fruits, vegetables, housewares, meat (including whole dead animals!), flowers, and more. It was very colorful and fun to look at the foreign fruits they sell.

Parque Bolivar: a huge park in the city, with lakes, many playgrounds, paths to walk and bike on, soccer fields, etc. 

 Usaquen is a cute part of town with nice parks and restaurants. We came here specifically so I could try ajiaco soup, a Colombian specialty. It was DELICIOUS!! I love how it comes with all the toppings and you assemble it yourself.

Cerro de Monserrate
This is a nice place to visit in the Christmas season because of all the lights! However it was VERY crowded. We had to wait in line to take the funicular up for about 2 hours. Once we got up there, it was nice to walk around, see the lights, get a view of the city, and drink some amazing hot chocolate!

Museo Botero-Fernando Botero is a famous Colombian artist and his sculptures and paintings are easy to identify by their skewed proportions. (Both pictures below are from the museum's website)

As you can see, I managed to see quite a big of Bogota in my limited time there. We also managed to have an amazing Christmas dinner with my friend and the other expats she works with, complete with turkey and all the fixins! Apparently I was too busy eating to take any pictures, oops. Still to come: Bogota's graffiti tour!

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