Alone Like a Rolling Stone

Colombia's Capital

We have been here in Santa Marta for almost a month now. The city is one of the oldest cities in South America. With its flair, it has cast a spell over us. We stroll through the streets every day and soak up the South American mentality, let ourselves be infected by the joy of life of the people. It is time to explore the country. After the strenuous trekking tour to the lost city in the Sierra Nevada, we plan a round trip through Colombia. Our first destination is Bogota.

Bogotá, Kolumbien 

The city is large. With its 8.5 million inhabitants, it lies at 2640m above sea level. Since we have stayed for over a year only in the warmer climates of the earth, we feel 13 ° C, as extremely cold. With unaccustomed long trousers and my down jacket, which I dug out from the very bottom of the Schap, I stand, at the airport of Bogota in the row and wait for a cab. Gaby, a little less sensitive, has dispensed with the down jacket, but is, for our conditions, also quite wrapped up. Since cab driving is still affordable in Colombia, we allow ourselves the luxury and forgo the experience of an overcrowded bus, across the city. The cab ride from the airport to the hotel then costs 15€. The hotel is located on the edge of the old city center, in the immediate vicinity of the Gold Museum and the Plaza de Bolivar. The area is considered extremely unsafe and you should not go out on the street in the evening. So we stay in the hotel and enjoy the view from the 17th floor, on which there is a pool and a restaurant. 

Monserrate Bogotá, Colombia 

The next morning Monserrate appears in a haze that is only slowly dissipating. I had imagined Monserrate more as a hill, in reality it is an imposing mountain, with a no less imposing church, on top. We take the cable car that takes us up to 3150m. The church is then at 3200m. Admittedly a very touristy place, but the view is phenomenal and the Coca tea tastes just over 3000m also not bad. Gaby refuses her medication again and prefers to drink fruit juice. The mountains around us exceed 4000m and are still forested above 3000m. Monserrate consists of a sacral and a touristic area, where the usual souvenirs can be bought. There are also many restaurants in this area. We enjoy the view of the metropolis and take the cable car back down.

Bogotá Downtown, Colombia

Our next destination is the district of La Candelaria. With its colorful houses, the Plaza de Bolivar and the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, the district is one of the oldest in Bogotá. We stop right away in a quaint pub where we have a small lunch.

Bar in La Candelaria, Bogotá, Colombia

Unfortunately, a cloudburst makes us change our plans and so we flee from the rain into the Gold Museum. What is not tragic, because very interesting. Here everything about gold and various other precious metals is explained. The main part is of course countless exhibits of the local indigenous people. At the entrance we are asked how old we are and get the entrance free.
 
Ad.Mayor, Bogotá, Colombia

From the age of 60, you are considered old in Colombia and receive numerous benefits. Who now believes that he must carry everywhere his senior citizen identity card, far from it, we are not in Germany. Especially since I don't have such an ID card. Our wallet is happy, whereby the entrance fees, in Colombia, are very moderate.

Exhibit of the Gold Museum Bogotá, Colombia

After we leave the Gold Museum, the sun shines for us again and so we still make it to the Plaza de Bolivar. The cathedral we look at today only from the outside. We still stroll through numerous streets of La Candelaria and drink a coffee in a nice little cafe. It is not far to the hotel now and so our first tour through Bogotá comes to an end.

Plaza de Bolivar, Bogotá, Colombia

Tomorrow we will continue to Leticia and then we will return to Bogotá. What we experience further on our round trip through Colombia, you can read in the next blog. Until then, we wish you as always fair wind and I keep a stiff upper lip.

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