Note: In an attempt to avoid Flickr, I am trying to figure out how to get my pictures uploaded into a gallery format. The internet upload speeds here are also pretty slow. I will get pictures up as soon as I can.
Update: You can access my South America pictures via the link at the top called “South America Photos”. Just click on the city you’re interested in checking out and it’ll take you to the appropriate gallery.
I have been experiencing writer’s block for years (well, I’d have to be a “writer” first to get “writer’s block” but that’s another topic) and I didn’t have much luck either this week. So here’s a brief low-down on my thoughts on Bogota.
- Lots of police and military presence. Can’t walk a few streets without seeing neon yellow and green.
- Dirty, packed with people, lots of colonial buildings mixed with new. Very city-like once you get out of the La Candelaria area. The scale of the city is only comprehended when one stands on top of Mount Monserrate.
- Salt Cathedral was a brilliant day-trip from Bogota. It’s massive inside and the lights shining on the salt carvings made them very beautiful. But I still prefer the salt cathedral near Krakow.
- Museo Del Oro (Gold Museum) provided an insightful look into the history of gold in Colombia. The extra US$3 for the English self-guided audio tour was well worth it, even though there were plenty of English explanations on displays.
- Museo Botero was amusing. Botero loved to paint fat, awkward, almost grotesque human figures. He especially loved the nude female form.
- Graffiti everywhere! The city is a museum of modern art in itself. It is legal to paint on anything except the presidential palace and public offices, as long as the artist gets permission from the land owner. Very tasteful, very beautiful works scattered across the city. Took a walking tour of it and now I can identify several pieces just by the artists’ style.
- Shared a dorm with a retired couple in their mid 60s from Kyle, near Austin TX. Small world! Pretty adventurous of them to try hostel-life for the first time. I will try to get in touch with them to meet up for lunch one day.
- I can’t seem to sleep well at nights. Also, everyone’s goes out and stays late and I’m in my dorm, trying to sleep at the same time the retirees are too. A bit ashamed but I tell myself I am getting older, I have never been the party-animal type, I needed to sleep early to catch a morning flight, I didn’t want to try to get home alone at night because muggings are very common, and I’m only getting started in my trip. Or as some call it, “Excuses”.
- Many things are fried. Feels heavy, really have to watch what and how much you eat.
- Roast/fried chicken, burgers, pizza, fries are pretty common as well.
- My appetite was not the best. Bogota is 2600 m above sea level. The altitude gave me a slight headache when I first arrived.
- Transmilenio public bus system is brilliant. It’s no subway but it helps cut through the rush hour traffic, which gets bad by 3 pm.