We made short work of Colombia. By “short work” I don’t mean to short change the country. It just wasn’t our intention to stay long. If you’ve been reading along, you know it cost less than half to fly there from the US than to Ecuador. We only went to Bogota and the Popayan area before entering Ecuador.
We had heard Bogota was a pit. You could tell it had some bad areas and it’s not safe to go out late at night except on the main streets, but I think the average tourist isn’t going to experience any more problems there than in any other Latin American big city. The historical center is safe till about 10 PM, I think. That’s late enough for us, as we are usually in bed about then.
We spent four days there. One of them was basically getting over the 24 hour Oakland-LAX-Fort Lauderdale-Bogota plane ride. One day was a nice, free walking tour the tourism department takes you on, then walking around on our own. Another day was going to a couple of museums, And one day was going to an attraction called the Salt Cathedral.
Bogota isn’t particularly photogenic. Maybe if you hadn’t been to a number of Latin American cities or haven’t looked at colonial architecture in my many blog entries, it would be more interesting. It has your basic grand square with a church and some old government buildings.
One of the best things about Bogota, is the museums are free or a dollar. One of the museums is called the Botero Museum after a famous artist of that name. Part of the good part of the museum is the museumm itself. Here’s the courtyard.
That’s going to be it for this city of several million. Despite this short shrift, it is okay.
Out of town about an hour is the Salt Cathedral. Now, if you have ever been to Ellora or Ajanta in India, this is barely a roadside attraction. You can go to November, 2006 in this blog or type “Ellora” in the search box to see what I mean. Better still, google it and Ajanta. In any case, you can appreciate the effort that went into carving Christian prayer halls out of this salt mountain. Here’s a couple of pictures to give you the idea.
In Ellora, that herald angel would have been carved in situ from the stone the whole hall was carved out of. This one was sculpted in Italy and placed here.
That’s going to be it for Bogota. it was good to know ya. On to Popayan…