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Historic District Second Try

Museo & barrio antiguo

rain 15 °C

Day 4 Friday February 2, 2018

First attempt in Bogotá’s Historic District, La Candalaria, didn’t go so well, albeit interesting. Decided to try again armed with more understanding of the area and less stuff in our pockets.

La Candalaria is the Old Town of Bogotá. In the middle is the Plaza Bolivar with the government buildings and cathedral. It is home to an impressive number of museums and galleries, many which are free to even those under 60 years of age. The east side of La Candalaria climbs up a steep hill with narrow cobblestone streets and view over the city. But to our favorite coffee shop first.


We started in the plaza and this time Fred needed to feed the birds.


Our next stop was the Museo de Botero. Botero was an artist from Medellin, known for his depiction of rotund figures, albeit human or vegetable, often with a sense of humour and sometimes a political comment. He donated 208 items from his private collection of both his own and other artists including Monet, Picasso, and Matisse, to Colombia in 2000. The government created a museum just for this work. It gets about 500,000 visitors annually and is free of charge. It is connected to some other small galleries and museums so we wandered about learning about Colombian history and coin minting (not a lot though as most text was in Spanish).


Needing substance we headed up the hill looking for a bowl of soup. Enticed through a door and up some stairs (this is sounding too familiar) we arrived at a restaurant in what must have been somebody’s home at the turn of the last century or earlier: Victorian, wood paneling and plate rails, glass mullioned doors, antique wooden cabinets. A very elegant but somehow relaxed atmosphere that stimulated the imagination to think of what Bogotá might have once been

After a bowl of delicious soup, we headed off up the hill to explore. The tourist district ended quickly and we wandered the narrow streets for a bit before heading back down towards the square.


Fortunately we’d stuck our heads in a museum outlining the plans for Bogotá when the rains started. Torrential rains. We waited them out and then continued downhill. Into a little shop for a look about and then a clap of thunder and the rain started again. No question about going outside, we hunkered down with about 20 other tourists waiting for the rain to subside. Once it did we started out again only for it to start again. Ferocious might be an appropriate word to describe it. This time we found refuge at a coffee shop and watched as the water ran down the streets to a depth of 3 or 4 inches. Activity pretty much ceased, traffic became sparse and people waited but umbrella vendors popped up to do their business. After 45 minutes the rains stopped, the street vendors re-emerged, and life got back to normal.


Off we went, down a street of shops selling hats and then one selling men’s clothing, and then into a market hidden behind all the other shops. “Welcome to the jungle” one of the vendors said as we discovered a maze of small shops selling everything from tourist crafts to wooden stools. Needless to say, we stand out here. There are very few gringa tourists about.

Having had a full day we wandered back to the tourist office who called us an Uber to get us back to the hotel.


Posted by Fredricgail2017 17:31 Archived in Colombia

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