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Published: March 18th 2009
Museo del oro
Day 702 (01.03.09)
Our first full day in Colombia had begun and we set out to get a feel for the city of Bogotá. We love street food as it´s a cheap, tasty and easy way to eat so our first aim was to get some breakfast and check out the street food our new country had to offer.
Our fists soon gripped around potato cakes that turned out to be filled with cheese we were suitably impressed and headed towards the city´s main square, the Plaza de Bolivar. On the way we ran into a fairly large protest also headed that way. We couldn't quite make out what they were protesting about but it seemed to be to do with recycling. Good on 'em!
The square itself is surrounded on all sides by some of Bogota´s grandest buildings. We made a brief trip into the Catedral Primada and admired the huge, glittering chandeliers lining the high ceilings. We hung around in the square for a while trying to avoid the numerous pigeons, watching the protesters and taking in the sights of the Capital Building, the Judicial Palace and the colonial Mayor's Offices.
We next ventured towards
the charming La Candelaria area of the city and before we knew it had collected a Colombian couple who were keen to find out about us and on discovering we were on our honeymoon insisted they must take us for a beer. Chatting away in our faltering Spanish, glad that we'd left the difficulties of Portuguese behind us in Brazil, we were led through the pretty streets and their one storey brightly coloured dwellings to the Mercado of Miracles where we sat for a happy half hour and enjoyed a beer with our friendly hosts. We never cease to be amazed by the generosity of people we meet along the way.
Leaving our new friends behind we made our way to the Donación Botero, an art gallery celebrating the works of Fernando Botero the country´s most well known artist. His seemingly inflated subjects made for some interesting viewing and were accompanied by works from Picasso, Degas, Dali, Matisse, Renoir, Monet...the list goes on. Free to visit, this was a great stop on our city tour.
It was now time for lunch and we were glad to be back in a country that does an 'almuerzo' or set lunch.
A basic but cheap and filling option for a meal. Tucking away our chicken and vegetable soup, followed by beans, rice, salad and chicken we were ready to continue on our way.
The Museo del Oro or Museum of Gold is billed as the city's best attraction and we were thrilled to find out that entry was free today (we´re not sure why but who are we to look a gift horse in the mouth!). The museum was fantastic as it set out with excellent English translations the history of goldworking and the uses of gold within Colombia all illustrated by more than 34,000 incredible gold artefacts. Dread to think what their insurance bills are!
We spent a good couple of hours wandering around the museum and then returned to our hostel to relax for the evening. We'd had a great day and were looking forward to experiencing more of Colombia over the next few weeks.
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