Published: August 6th 2007June 20th 2007
Mural of Che Guevara
We have now started our vacation trip. The destination this time is Venezuela. We first arrived in Caracas. We have heard a few horror stories from Caracas such as people getting robbed already at the airport, Caracas being the city with the highest murder rate in Latin America and taxi drivers being criminals. Well, the last statement maybe isn´t a surprise. Taxi drivers are criminals all over the World. But the over all crime rate is supposed to be very high and not even in the airport a tourist can feel safe.
We decided to play it safe and stay only a very short time in Caracas and make sure to stay far away from all dodgy areas in the city. We only stayed 24 hours to give us time to arrange things for our future journey in Venezuela.
In the day we were in Caracas we first tried to go to a village called Colonia Towar. It is supposed to take about two hours with the bus from Caracas to Colonia Towar. But we got stuck in the mother of all traffic jams and after more than two hours we had not even left Caracas yet. We gave
There are pictures of Hugo Chaves posted all over Venezuela
up and took another bus back to Caracas.
Instead we took the teleferico (cable car) to El Avila, a mountain just outside Caracas. El Avila is a popular destination among both tourists and Caraquenans. So on the top the mountain there are several cafés, restaurants and even an ice skating rink. The views over Caracas are astonishing, though very hard to catch on a photo.
The other tourist site we visited in Caracas was the University
. It was all build in one and the same architectural style and the buildings are interspaced with art. This combination of art and architecture is so special that UNESCO decided it should be kept intact for future generations thus making it a World Heritage.
After a day in Caracas we took the night bus to Maracaibo. Maracaibo is an industrial city that is also the heart of Venezuela´s oil industry. The city in itself is not very interesting. It has an old town that is nice to walk around in. But most of the colonial buildings were torn down in the 70-ies so what´s left is not as good as it could be. Instead we went to a place called Laguna
Caracas seen from El Avila
de Sinamaica just north of Maracaibo. In Laguna de Sinamaica people live in houses on stilts. When the first Westerners came to this area and saw these houses it reminded them of Venice in Italy. Therefor they called the area Little Venice, Venezuela.
Laguna de Sinamaica is a both interesting and beautiful place. The population totals about 6000 people and in many ways it reminded us of any other place of similar size. There is a school, they have a church, there is a small guesthouse and a supermarket. All of them built on stilts and standing in water.
From Maracaibo we also took a day tour to Coro
. Outside Coro is a national park called Park Nacional Los Medanos de Coro
. The national park is there to protect a large area of sand dunes. These sand dunes are just outside the town and it comes quite as a surprise if you go there and don´t know there are an area of sand dunes there. Because nowhere else near Coro is there any desert or desert like landscape.
We walked around among the sand dunes a while. The wind was blowing hard that day so we got
Cable car down from El Avila.
pretty caked with sand after a while. The hard way we discovered that when sun screen and sand mix it sticks to your skin and you can´t scrape it off.
It is quite fascinating how sand can get in everywhere. We didn´t stay long in Park Nacional Los Medanos de Coro but afterwards we had sand in our shoes/boots, on our arms, on our legs, in the hair, inside the camera, in our bags and in our ears. Can someone please explain how sand can get in everywhere where you don´t want it because we sure don´t understand it. Another thing that at least I, Ake, do not understand is why beaches are so popular. Do people actually like to get sand in their hair, clothes and mouths? I know that I certainly do not.
I the city center of Coro there are many old colonial buildings preserved. It was a very nice place and we would have liked to stay longer. But unfortunately there was not enough time this time. It is a pity but we know there are other more interesting places to visit in Venezuela. Next place we are going to is Merida. But our
University of Caracas
For its combination of art and architecture University of Caracas is a UNESCO World heritage.
story from there is for the next entry on the blogg.
There are more photos below