Arrival in Colombia – Bogota

After a 2 week visit with family and friends in Canada, first in Winnipeg, then in Calgary, we finally hopped on the flights that would take us to Colombia, via Toronto. We touched down late in the evening of November 27th in Bogota and made our way to our rented appartment in the old town, “La Candelaria.”

Sunset view from the plane en route to Bogota

Our first steps in Bogota were cautious ones following the recent social protests and resulting government imposed curfew which took place just days prior to our arrival. Hundreds of thousands of people had taken to the streets to protest against government corruption, austerity measures (Colombia is one of the countries in South America with the largest gap between rich and poor), and lack of enforcement of the peace process with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC). Vandalism and looting also occured during the protests and environmental and animal rights activists and women’s rights groups also joined in the protests. A nationwide strike is planned for December 4th. Interestingly, a general strike (to protest reforms to the retirement system) is planned for December 5th in France, illustrating the similarities between the social mouvements taking place simultaneously across many countries around the world at this time. Increased police and military presence is currently evident everywhere and as a tourist, this is both comforting and unsettling.

Parliament Building (protected with nets against protesters) on Plaza de Simon Bolivar. The plaza was the gathering point of the protests, and only steps away from our apartment.
Anti-government graffiti on the Palace of Justice building on Plaza de Simon Bolivar.
Cathedral of Bogota on Plaza de Simon Bolivar.
Protest banner on Cerro de Montserrate

Bogota is full of great museums, including the excellent Museo del Oro (gold museum) and the Botero Museum.

Bogota is also home to many excellent restaurants, including the crazy local institution “Andrès Carne de Res” in the northern neighborhood of Chia.

Right down the street from our apartment was the famous Fulanitos restaurant, with delicious regional cuisine served in a historical house with several beautifully decorated dining rooms.

Two of the biggest Bogota attractions are the Catedral de Sal, a cathedral constructed underground in the salt mines of Zipaquira, a town north of Bogota, and the Cerro de Montserrate, a hill on the south-east side of Bogota where a sanctuary stands. The views of Bogota from the top are amazing!

Of course there are many churches and cathedrals in the city, some of which we were able to visit during our stay.

San Augustin
El Carmen
Mass inside El Carmen

We enjoyed our stay in Bogota and are currently in Cartagena, where we are waiting to pick up Tommy and Milou when they arrive on the Guayaquil Express. South American time is approximative and for Laurent and I who are used to Swiss precision, the vague delivery date that has been communicated to us by the shipping company is far from satisfying. We also should mention that the shipping company switched boats on us and we learned this by chance! However, we need to learn to be patient and adapt to the local processes. The real adventure will begin once Tommy rolls off the ship and we hit the road. Stay tuned!


13 thoughts on “Arrival in Colombia – Bogota

  1. “Crepes and Waffles” à Cartagena, dans la vieille ville est un lieu de restauration délicieux et différent : il est animé par des femmes courageuses, qui ont été abimées par la vie mais font face. Il n’y a pas de “pin up” pour prendre les commandes mais de belles personnes rayonnantes et solidaires entre elles.
    C’est une chaine de resto qui a été créée il y a 20 ans par une californienne, si mon souvenir est bon… aussi bon que les plats car il n’y a pas que des crêpes.

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  2. Ça y est vous êtes presque dans le jus,
    Il manque juste vos 4 roulettes !
    Vous avez droit à un beau comité d’accueil
    Je vous espère en forme et plein de confiance pour votre entrée dans le voyage.

    La marraine a fourché ses pinceaux en vous mettant un message dès le tout début de votre site et elle perdu son message d’enthousiasme et d’encouragement.
    Ai été un peu débordée ( travail sur l’habitat partagé, les paperasses, les vieux voisins sans internet et paniques dans le dialogue avec Orange, une conférence sur les économies d’énergies organisée dans mon petit village, je jardin avant de couper l’eau, les visites qui débarquent… on arrête tout pour goûter cela, … la vie, quoi !

    Les pensées vous accompagnent fort fort et l’amitié aussi.
    À plus, bises
    Élisabeth

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  3. Quel beau reportage, même que les événements sont un peu effrayants comme chez nous d’ailleurs… et maintenant patience à Carthagène, au moins vous aurez le temps de visiter la ville. A bientôt de vous lire et bises

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  4. Whaouh… already so much seen. Another beautiful country tangled up in corruption and prey of justified protests. Indeed it looks like this is going through more and more countries and becoming unsettling almost everywhere now.

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