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South America » Colombia » Cartagena
December 28th 2011
Published: September 30th 2017
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More than Just Fernando Botero ...More than Just Fernando Botero ...More than Just Fernando Botero ...

... Museo de Antioquia had some pretty interesting pieces of art, definitely worthy visiting. Even better, the museum is free until the end of December.
Geo: 10.4137, -75.5336

Today is all about Fernando Botero - possibly Colombia's most-famous artist, Botero hails from Medellin, and has a very distinctive style, his works instantly recognizable to those that have been lucky enough to have previously seen his works. While he also paints, Botero is most known for his sculptures which border on the comical, with uniquely exaggerated proportions. The city honoured Botero by placing several of his sculptures in Plazoleta de las Esculturas (Sculpture Plaza), providing a wonderful respite from Medellin's intense city centre located just a few steps from Parque Berrio. Though his works often contain a much deeper meaning, anybody can appreciate the humour and imagination displayed by his art.

Adjacent to the plaza is the Museo de Antioquia, a surprisingly enjoyable museum containing everything from pre-Colombia to modern art, and of course - more Botero. The museum and plaza are probably the highlights of any visit to Medellin's city centre, but a stroll through the chaotic centre is also enjoyable. It's a little bit reminiscent of Sao Paulo or Rio - gritty, rough around the edges, and bursting with both people and energy. Cafes and stores along Pasaje Junin, street vendors along the Metro tracks -
Cute Chubby Puppy in Plaza Botero ...Cute Chubby Puppy in Plaza Botero ...Cute Chubby Puppy in Plaza Botero ...

... Botero's odd proportions make for some cute statues.
it shares some similarities with El Poblado but at the same time, couldn't be more different.

El Poblado is nice, but seems to be a very sanitized version of South America, representing the newer wealth. I don't think you can visit South America without experiencing both the modern areas, as well as the poorer historical centres, even though they can sometimes be a bit overwhelming. El Poblado represents progress, but not really for everybody - the gap between South America's rich and poor continues to grow, but for many residents of the poorer areas, attaining that lifestyle is no more than a far-fetched dream.

It may not be the prettiest place in certain areas, but the city centre is a must-see while in Medellin, if for no other reason than to fully appreciate the contrast within the city. Otherwise if you miss it, you might end up like the lady in this spoof article - and who wants that?



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Palacio de la Cultura ...Palacio de la Cultura ...
Palacio de la Cultura ...

... looks more like a church. Dedicated to the current president, Uribe.
Botero Beyond Sculpture ...Botero Beyond Sculpture ...
Botero Beyond Sculpture ...

... he also did a number of paintings, interesting because the subjects always seem to have such a blank look on their faces.
Cafe Versalles For Another Set Meal ...Cafe Versalles For Another Set Meal ...
Cafe Versalles For Another Set Meal ...

... Guinea soup - not really sure what it was, except that it's yet another tasty thick Colombian soup full of potatoes and plantain. The thick milkshake-like juice is borojo, yet another South American fruit billed as being another super food, and also an aphrodisiac.
Spaghetti Bolognese ...Spaghetti Bolognese ...
Spaghetti Bolognese ...

... no hint of tomato in the sauce, we were given a bottle of ketchup to complete the dish. The noodles were odd - not like spaghetti at all, more like Chinese yee mein, at least a very mushy version of it.
Tough Steak ...Tough Steak ...
Tough Steak ...

... but oh so flavourful! Mashed potatoes were killer once more, it seems like the local varieties of potatoes are packed with flavour in comparison with North American varieties. The salad featured beets, a nice change from the rote repetition of lettuce, tomato, and maybe some onion in the typical Colombian salad.
Como Pez en el Agua ...Como Pez en el Agua ...
Como Pez en el Agua ...

... a pastry shop just down the street from the hostel, trying one of their pastries became a mission of mine, since they looked so delectable sitting in the display case. This was a passion fruit mousse that was quite dense and felt more like a cheesecake, sitting atop a nice graham cracker crust, and topped off with a grape that tasted uncannily like Welch's grape jelly. Surprisingly, a fair amount of lime juice was mixed in with the watermelon juice, giving it a tangy tone that was quite refreshing.
Dinner at Kokoriko in Bogota's Airport ...Dinner at Kokoriko in Bogota's Airport ...
Dinner at Kokoriko in Bogota's Airport ...

... surprisingly tasty chicken for a fast food chain, juicy with very crispy skin. Too bad the corn was overcooked and the fried potato wedges were oozing grease.
Amazing Potatoes ...Amazing Potatoes ...
Amazing Potatoes ...

... on the menu, we figured they were actually fried spherical balls of dough, but they turned out to be some more delectable potatoes, moist and bursting with flavour. The chicken was decent, being nicely seasoned. The arepas were horrible.


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