Christmas in Colombia


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South America » Colombia » Antioquia
December 25th 2011
Published: September 30th 2017
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Merry Christmas From Pueblito Paisa ...Merry Christmas From Pueblito Paisa ...Merry Christmas From Pueblito Paisa ...

... from atop Cerro Nutibara, a hill near the city centre.
Geo: 6.23578, -75.5799

Merry Christmas from Colombia! So far Medellin hasn't been the most exciting of places, owing to most cafes, restaurants, and stores being closed as a result of the holidays. Searching for some life in the streets, I headed over to Cerro Nutibara, a park high atop a hill with a recreation of a typical Antioquian town. Paisa is a person from the region, and the recreation is named Pueblito Paisa, literally meaning little Paisa village. The place was full of families today, and I even ran into one that was staying at the hostel. Not the most exciting attraction as it's a bit cheesy, but it made for a decent stroll with Pueblo Paisa and the Parque de las Esculturas (sculpture park), and it also provided a bit of fresh air, an escape from Medellin's exhaust fumes.

Medellin takes a toll on the body - though cloudy, the temperatures have been hovering near 30 C, with muggy, polluted air. The best method of seeing a city is on foot, but Medellin's famed Milla de Oro (Golden Mile) probably isn't the best place to do so. It's renowned for being packed with high rise condos, restaurants, and shopping malls - it seemed to extend forever and felt like a ghost town today. Perhaps it's be a fun place to stroll any other time, but apparently not on Christmas day. Looking for any sign of life, I wound up wandering into CC Oviedo, one of the larger malls in the area - surprisingly busy for Christmas Day, especially since less than 1/4 of the stores were actually open.

Christmas Day this year in Colombia is a sharp contrast to last year in Rio, which was a day spent on Ipanema Beach packed with both locals and tourists, followed by a concert on Copacabana Beach with nearly one million people joining in on the revelry. Medellin is positively tame in comparison, and I have to say that Christmas was far more enjoyable in Rio, in that regard - but hey, I'm still celebrating Christmas in an amazing country, so I'm not complaining! Though my celebratory methods today weren't what a Colombian would typically do - a Greek dinner while watching some NFL!



Additional photos below
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Odd Viewpoint ...Odd Viewpoint ...
Odd Viewpoint ...

... beautiful 360 degree views of Medellin, but there's no place to sit anywhere.
Hawaiian Pastry ...Hawaiian Pastry ...
Hawaiian Pastry ...

... nothing special.
More Colombian Pastries ...More Colombian Pastries ...
More Colombian Pastries ...

... starting from the big one and going clockwise: chocolate and blackberry cookie which didn't really taste like either, kind of a less dense sugar cookie with sprinkles and a hint of coconut flavour, kind of a dry macaroon.
Colombian Embarrassment of Riches ...Colombian Embarrassment of Riches ...
Colombian Embarrassment of Riches ...

... so much fruit variety here! On the right are the lulos, no idea what the oblong things are.
Poor Little Piggy at the Grocery Store ...Poor Little Piggy at the Grocery Store ...
Poor Little Piggy at the Grocery Store ...

... he looked so cold and sad, I wanted to warm him up - on a spit on my BBQ!
Massive Papaya ...Massive Papaya ...
Massive Papaya ...

... you can't even tell how large, but keep in mind that I have big hands.
Huge Selection of the Diabolical Aguardiente ...Huge Selection of the Diabolical Aguardiente ...
Huge Selection of the Diabolical Aguardiente ...

... notice the shiny Tetra paks - nothing says quality and horrible hangover like alcohol from a box!
El Portal ... El Portal ...
El Portal ...

... chain of coffee/pastry shops I've seen around Medellin. I was looking for a coffee shop with an terrace along the street, but most everything was closed today, except for a few shopping malls. Decent chocolate cake, with a super sweet icing and what I believe is arequipe in the middle. Decent cup of coffee.
Traditional Colombian Christmas Dinner ...Traditional Colombian Christmas Dinner ...
Traditional Colombian Christmas Dinner ...

... started with a phyllo pastry stuffed with cheese. Expecting feta, it was actually stuffed with a delicious soft and creamy cheese. The bread sticks were also great, tasting like they were homemade.
Pork Souvlaki ...Pork Souvlaki ...
Pork Souvlaki ...

... good pork, though the pita wasn't that great, excellent crispy fries, and the Greek salad was missing some feta. A reasonable approximation of Greek food ... of course, never having been to Greece, who's to say I even know what Greek food should taste like? Drink of choice tonight was feijoa juice, another one of those fruits commonly found in South America, but not really anywhere else. Closely related to guava, the juice is also a bit gritty, but seemed a fair bit thicker - nice, but not really a refreshing beverage.
NFL on Christmas Day in Colombia ...NFL on Christmas Day in Colombia ...
NFL on Christmas Day in Colombia ...

... watching American football and eating Greek food - I'm sure that's what every Colombian does on Christmas Day, right???


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