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Seeing more of Bogota

Colombia day two

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In La Candelaria


We were awake quite early so had time for a leisurely breakfast before being picked up by Hayley and our driver Miguel for our morning tour. First we went to Montserrate, one of the mountains that overlooks Bogota. We had prepaid tickets for fast boarding of the funicular but fast proved to be an elastic concept as we still had to queue for some time. A trip here is a popular Sunday outing for locals, who far outnumbered tourists from what I could see.

Never mind, there was plenty of activity to observe. Several men were enthusiastically selling binoculars, others food of all kinds. One had a llama on a rope, presumably as a photo prop. Most unusually to our eyes, one woman was selling 'big ass ants' which are traditionally considered an aphrodisiac here.

Waiting for the funicular, and above the entrance

Eventually we boarded the funicular for the ride to the top. It was too crowded to get good photos as we ascended but I enjoyed the ride.

The view from the funicular

At the top we followed a path past statues depicting the Stations of the Cross to reach the church. A Mass was in progress, being broadcast through loudspeakers along the path, and crowds were gathered outside. It was impossible to visit inside.


Stations of the Cross

The church, and a statue outside

Instead Hayley led us along a short path from where we had sweeping views of the city below. She pointed out many of the landmarks including the Plaza Bolivar where we would be heading later.


The view from Montserrate

La Candelaria

We returned via the cable car, again too crowded to be able to take photos during the descent. Miguel was waiting for us and drove us to the fringes of La Candelaria, the historic centre. Before exploring there Hayley took us into a covered market where she showed us various fruits. There were a couple of souvenir stalls but we didn't stop to buy. However the chocolate stall couldn't be ignored, especially when Hayley told us it sold chocolate straight from the growers, with no big company taking most of the profits. The stall holder gave us four samples to try. We both loved the one with black pepper but settled on the plain 75% solids one as our favourite to buy.

Near the market

We then started our slow walk through the narrow streets of La Candelaria, stopping to take numerous photos, especially of the colourful street art.









Street art in La Candelaria

We stopped to watch a puppet show outside the Bottero Museum, and climbed to the roof of the modern cultural centre for a different view of the action below and the cathedral.

Puppet show

View from the cultural centre

On this slightly wider street there were lots of craft stalls. Hayley stopped to talk to one jewellery maker whom she knew, and we all three were impressed by a guy who crafts old record albums into images appropriate to the artist(s).

Working with wire

Traditional fabric designs

Hayley and the jewellery maker

Record art

The Plaza Bolivar

The Plaza Bolivar when we finally reached it was full of noise and activity. We got chatting to a guy with a self-made bike and cute dog. Hayley told us a bit about the buildings but I was wilting a bit so wasn't sorry that she didn't suggest going inside the cathedral.

The cathedral

In the Plaza Bolivar

Instead she proposed a coffee which seemed to us a much better idea, especially as we hadn't eaten since breakfast time! She led us to a great coffeeshop a block or so off the square. There we got a demonstration of latte art with a different animal on each of our cappuccinos, and a bite to eat.


Latte art

Miguel picked us up soon after this and we went back to the hotel where we said goodbye to Hayley. But not to Miguel as we would be seeing him again tomorrow. In the evening we decided to eat at the hotel, given the absence of Colombian restaurants in the area. We started with a beer in the bar as we'd not yet made use of the welcome drink vouchers we were given at check-in. The food in the restaurant was good (I had some sort of white fish in a tasty sauce on mashed potatoes) but the room so cold it was hard to enjoy it. We couldn't understand why a smart hotel wouldn't have any heating at night, when Bogota temperatures regularly dip into single figures even in the summer!

We had another early night as we still had sleep to catch up on, plus an early start in the morning.

Posted by ToonSarah 11:02 Archived in Colombia Tagged mountains religion views church cathedral sculpture bogota coffee cable_car colombia street_art funicular street_photography Comments (13)

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