Friday, Mar 8, 2019
It has been another busy week for me in Medellin. I did a free walking tour of the city, visited a huge park, explored another barrio, made empanadas, and had hours of Spanish classes and conversation. I am having difficulty finding time to write my blog. So more pics than writing this go around. Enjoy!
Walking Around Medellin
I did the Medellin Free Walking Tour by Real City Tours. Our guide, Julio, was excellent. He not only pointed out many cool things and places about Medellin, he was able to convey a sense of the people who live here. It was a great combination of history and current events that gave context to this city and its people.
This statue is in the government square and depicts the history of Medellin from its earliest times.
Botero Plaza is filled with statues by the artist Fernando Botero who is a native of Medellin. Next to the square is the Museo de Antioquia which has an entire floor of only Botero’s paintings and sculptures
Blotero made two paintings about the death of Pablo Escobar. Unlike the Netflix Narcos series portrayal, Pablo Escobar was not even close to being a good man. He was responsible for the deaths of 35,000 men, women, and children in Colombia while he was the drug lord. Sure, he gave away 200 houses to the poor people of Medellin…does 175 murders per house justify anything he did?
Music, Religion, and Sex
Our guide brought us to another plaza in Medellin where talented locals gather to play songs that always draw a crowd.
And of course at almost every plaza or square in Medellin, there will be a church present. The church at this square has prostitutes along the side of it. In this pic below, one is standing against the wall in front of the church. Seeing this is actually quite sad. A hotel is located on the other side of this plaza. The story is that after the men and women engage in their “sins” at the hotel, they can quickly go to the church, confess, and be absolved. Convenient if nothing else.
Near the San Antonio metro station is a well-known bar and restaurant, Salon Malaga, in Medellin. It has been at this location for more than 60 years. We stopped in and had a beer. Most of the people in here are locals. The walls are covered with the many personalities of those visiting this great place in Medellin. The beer was good too. 😉
At the Park
Parque Arvi is a huge, heavily forested area in Medellin. It takes about 30 minutes in a metro cable car to go up and over the mountain to the park. The ride provides spectacular aerial views of Medellin on the way there.
Inside the park we found a “tree house”. Always time for that. 🙂
When we left the park it seemed everyone else had the same idea. Reminiscent of the lines for the rides at Disneyland. 🙂
This week we visted Manrique, and found more interesting things including the first power station in Medellin. It powered the Tranvia public transportation through the city back in the day. Any electricity that was left over would be used to power the homes with light. Transportation and the movement of people and goods was a priority for Medellin, and it’s one of the reasons it continues to thrive today.
Remember Westinghouse? Look at the brand of this generator that powered Medellin back in the day. Good ‘ol USA ingenuity. How is it different today?
Into the Heavens
This church caught everyone’s eye.
Walking back to the metro the sun had set and the lights of the city began to glow.
Empanadas and Salsa
The week included a group activity where we were taught how to make empanadas. Every one helped and before you knew it we were eating like the locals.
The salsa however was not the kind I was expecting. After the empanadas a local salsa instructor showed us some moves.
Week 5 Is Over
Another great week in Medellin. The pace is busy here for me, but I usually find a great place to have dinner with friends, and relax from the day’s activities. I was at this restaurant when three men from Argentina came walking by to play for us. I love the vibe here.