Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Medellin - short but sweet

We arrived in Medellin on Sunday morning after a very uncomfortable overnight bus ride from Cartagena. (cold, cramped, Spanish movies playing loudly, all the lights going on at the frequent stops along the route). We had become accustomed to the lazyboy type seats, complimentary food and drinks, pillows and blankets and english movies with headphones in Peru.  We are definitely not in Peru anymore!!

We took the metro and then the cable car, which is part of the metro system, up the hill to Parque Arvi.  There is a butterfly museum there that we wanted to go to but unfortunately the last portion of the cable car wasn't running so we just checked out the view and went back down.
One of the things that just dawned on me (obviously slow on the uptake) is that, unlike in our part of the world where the houses get swankier and more expensive the further up the hills you travel, the hillside homes in South America are a little more run down and the houses more squished together.

We were warned that all of the museums and attractions shut down on Mondays so, we decided to take a trip to Guatape.  We had read about Guatape, a small resort town about a 2 hour bus ride from Medellin on several travel blogs and every one of them loved the place.  Maybe our expectations were too high but there was a very odd feeling in the town.  It was quaint, but it felt as though they were really sick of tourists and were just putting up with us because we were somewhat helpful to their economy.  The main square was set up for a 200th celebration so maybe they had celebrated long into the night and were just tired,...

Chloe refers to Guatape as "Toyland".  Very colourful with handpainted decorations on all of the buildings.  Chloe wants me to tell you that it felt weird colourful, not good colourful.
  Just outside the main part of the town is a large hill called Penon de Guatape that you can climb up (the 635 steps) and get an amazing view of the lake and trillions of islands in the area.
"the rock" with the stairs we climbed up.

Back in Medellin we went to the science museum (quite similar to telus world of science with all of the hands on activities) and wandered around the downtown area.  My favourite were the Botero statues in the main square.
We got a good feeling from Medellin - friendly people, spring like temperatures (although we are in the rainy season so a few unexpected bouts of rain to deal with) and nice little neighbourhoods - we stayed in the Poblado area, Zona Rosa neighbourhood.  Would have liked to visit a few more smaller towns and check out Columbia a little more but, we're off to Ecuador this afternoon.  As usual, so many things to see and do and so little time.


  1. I can't believe you went up those stairs! They look like they are about to fall down. Good thing you all ate that guinuea pig to get your strength up..... I don't know if you picked the right end of that statue to cuddle up to Paul.. Have fun in Ecuador! Hopefully there will be less stairs in that country and you'll be able to give your legs a break.

  2. We are looking into a tour of the galapagos islands so we will be doing a bit of walking around there but mostly on paths/trails I would think. Thanks for the comment.

  3. That is a pretty crazy looking set of stairs!