Botero and Booze in Medellin

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South America » Colombia » Medellin
March 21st 2009
Published: April 10th 2009
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Day 721 (20.03.09)

Once a no-go city on the travel itinerary for Colombia due to it's major role in the Cocaine trade, recent years have seen Medellin receive a major clean-up (including a public scheme where weapons could be traded for musical instruments) and it now features on most travellers' lists of places to visit.

Arriving into the city at the crack of dawn, we stopped in at a local cafe for a couple of coffees before checking into our room. Safely installed, showered and ready for the day we went out to see what the city had to offer. On our way out we met a couple of chaps (Eric and Drew) from Hawaii who had the same idea taking our group of three to five.

On the train we jumped off in the centre and had a good explore. Taking in the Plaza of Light (although we think you need to go at night to actually see the ´light´bit of it) the central shopping area, the plaza full of chunky Botero statues, a mural of Medallin's history and the redlight district, we found we had seen most of what we wanted to see (and some that we hadn't!) in a much shorter space of time than we'd thought.

Jumping on the metro system once more we went out to the cable car (also included in the metro ticket) which was constructed to ensure people from the poorer areas of town could easily and cheaply access the city for work.

The area the cable car takes you to was once the prime recruiting area in Columbia for the drug cartels based in and around Medellin. Since the clean-up - along with the rest of the country - this area is now safer to visit. Speaking to a local in the cable car he described to us the changes in the city over the last ten years or so. In place of the bombs and violence previously associated with the city and country there is now a far more tranquil feel and the people are glad to welcome more and more foreign visitors.

At the top of the cable car you get great views of the city and with various stops on the way back down you can also get a great birdseye feel of life in this still impoverished area of town.

Back at the hostel and we all pulled together a massive veg filled dinner before finishing the evening off with a little cards.

Day 722 (21.03.09)

We had a really lazy day! With most of the time spend relaxing in front of the TV we eventually got upwardly mobile and had a superb evening with beer, cards and drinking games. Our plans to see the city's supposedly excellent nightlife were rained off with a tropical like downpour.

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Around town

Plaza of lights

12th April 2009

Places to see before you die
I like this Facebook page about Places that you have to visit before you die:

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