Bogota

March 16th, 2010

Day 57.  As a fairwell gesture, the driver of our taxi to the airport tried to fleece us but we were far too long in the tooth to fall for that shennanigans at this stage of our trip.  Our flight to Bogota was turbulent but otherwise uneventful and arrived in Bogota to a really pleasant surprise.  Our preconceptions have once again been blown away.  Bogota is a wonderful city and we wish we were staying here more than the planned two nights.  To be fair, our preconceptions were based partly on news reports from the 1980s about its squalour and danger (not all of which have disappeard), but it certainly seems to have markedly improved since then and it is truly an attractive international city to be reckoned with.

With only one full day in Bogota, we spent the afternoon and evening wandering around town taking in the sights and planning our itinerary for tomorrow.  For the last three weeks we have broiled, broasted and slimed in the heat and humidity of the Caribbean coast of Colombia.  It was a refreshing change to arrive at the third highest capital city at over 2600m where the temperature was a cool 20 C.  Not bad for a town just 4 degrees north of the equator!

Plaza Bolivar

The government building in Plaza Bolivar, the main square in Bogota, kindly allowed an artist to place ants figurines over the face of the building as a strong derogatory message to injustices on the population.  The body and the head of the ants were moulded from a human skull, each representing the displaced masses and the politicians responsible.  Colombia has the highest number of displaced persons second only to Sudan.  It is estimated that millions have been driven from their homes by guerrillas and paramilitary groups to become refugees in their own country.

In the evening, we were welcomed to Bogota by a friendly street vendor.  We sampled the local “aromatica”, a herbal tea with honey and lime, a very soothing drink after a fish meal which turned out … urm … somewhat difficult to digest.

Aromatica

One Response to “Bogota”

  1. James D says:

    Awesome plaza!
    I thought that was Safe in the hat for a moment :-)

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