Hello again! I’m now at my new place up north near Minca (with very poor wi-fi, so sorry for the delay), but before sharing the beautiful views, I want to share a bit more of my second round in Medellin. Being in a different part of town, I visited some different, and interesting sights.
El Centro is the heart of downtown Medellin, and also known for being the most dangerous. It also holds some really cool stuff, including Botero Plaza, the home to many plump bronze sculptures by the world renowned artist, Fernando Botero.
My funky hotel was about a 15 minute walk from the plaza, so after some breakfast and turning in my skanky laundry to be washed, I headed out. On the way, the problem of homelessness and drug addiction became more and more obvious. Most every corner was littered with bags of trash along with one or two people digging through them for food. In between the corners, the sidewalks were home to many frail bodies hanging on to life. As in many large cities, there seems to be no solution to this problem. It makes me sad.
Soon, I came upon a street market on the edge of the plaza. It was bustling with vendors selling clothes, shoes, and miscellaneous fruits and snacks. It is always crazy to me the inventory these vendors haul in by hand, setup, tear down, and haul away each day, many with the same goods as a hundred others.
Continuing on, I made my way through the market and into the plaza. It was awesome! The sculptures were amazing and the vibe was upbeat and happy. There were small vendors scattered around selling souvenirs, juices, and ice cream!!! I might have caved and bought a cone of the homemade goodness 🙂 It was fun and uplifting watching everyone laugh and goof around taking photos with the statues.
At the other end of the plaza, you can see the tallest building (574 ft) in Medellin, Coliejer Tower, designed to represent an industrial sewing needle, for the company for which it is named.
After I had my fill of the streets, I made my way back to the hotel. Hoping for a nap before dinner, I tried to rest, but instead had the pleasure of listening to three hours of heavy metal music being played on a very loud electric guitar right outside of my paper thin walls. Aside from the guitar, he was quite the singer…yikes!
For my last morning I got up early and decided to see what else I could see around town. I found two places, one was Park Bolivar, a nice park with a fountain, trees, and bird houses, with the largest church in Medellin, and supposedly the largest brick oven-backed church in the world, the Cathedral Basilica Metropolitana. Pretty amazing!
The second treasure was a plaza with more of Botero’s sculptures, namely, El Pajaro (The Bird). In 1995, El Pajaro was stuffed with 22 pounds of dynamite and detonated in the middle of a large concert in the plaza. The blast killed 30 and injured more than 200 people. FARC claimed responsibility for the terrorist attack. In 2000, Botero donated an identical statue but insisted that he bombed-out remains of the original statue remain. Today, the pair of statues are known as the Birds of Peace, symbolizing Medellin’s violent past and its bright future.
That concludes my Medellin adventures! Late in the afternoon, I boarded a plane to Santa Marta, where I was picked up by a 4×4 to take me up the mountain past Minca to Mundo Nuevo Eco-Lodge. Here I will decompress from city life and hopefully teach yoga! More to come soon.
Peace, Love, and Hugs,