A Travellerspoint blog

A Day of High and Lows

Hey, put the gold back.....

semi-overcast 14 °C

Day 20 Sunday February 18, 2018

An early wake-up. Maybe being back at 2600 metres was the cause. The included activities for today started with a funicular ride up Cerro de Monserrate with thousands of other people. Monserrate is a hill that rises on the east side of Bogotá to 10,341 feet. It was a sacred site for the indigenous people that the Spanish turned into a Catholic religious site.

We arrived at the base of the hill at 9 a.m. to a chaotic scene. Some people like to hike or even run up the hill, actually a lot of people like to do that as the stairs were packed. Many more like to take the funicular which meant there was a long line to get tickets and another long line to get on the tram. While waiting in line a variety of street vendors offered umbrellas, it was raining, ponchos, kabobs, roasted corn, drinks, binoculars (2 sizes) lama rides, empanadas…..


The funicular held probably 100 packed in people. We went backwards up the hill and through a tunnel. It was quite a relief to get out. We then walked further up the hill amongst crowds of people to the cathedral that was overflowing. It was Sunday and Lent. Past the church was a significant tourist market but more interesting past a long line of food vendors selling roasted chickens, soups, chocolate drink, some kind of fried inards, sausage and potatoes. Our guide bought a batch of fried big bottom ants, the size of bees, for us to try. The area was packed. When we emerged from the market the clouds had lifted and we had an amazing view of Bogotá and the Madonna on the mountain next door…until the clouds came in again.


Back to the funicular for a 45 minute ride to get down the mountain. From the bottom we walked to the Museo de Oro. The museum has one of the largest collection of gold artifacts in the world. The intricacy and abundance of artifacts was something. The temporary exhibit at the museum was from the Royal BC Museum about westcoast first nations artists.


About a 20 minute taxi ride from out hotel going north is a more upscale suburb of Bogotá that is famous for it’s Sunday craft market. We headed up there to find an array of high end crafts, not the usual tourist stuff. Fred managed to find the t-shirt he had been looking for as well as some CD’s by the local street musicians.


Tonight is our last night with the group so we’re going out for dinner to a trendy Bogotá restaurant. Turned out to an interesting place, it was three stories high with a loud Colombian Salsa band on the bottom floor. They also had a roving band of people playing what looked like home made instruments while screaming, jumping around and throwing confetti at folks sitting at the tables. The noise level was really high, to the point of almost having to yell at the person sitting across from you. However the food was really good even tho the service was almost non existent. The decor was steam punk. We were promised interesting……

Posted by Fredricgail2017 19:53 Archived in Colombia

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