Blogs from Medellin, Colombia, South America - page 7

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South America » Colombia » Medellin February 20th 2012

My time here in Colombia is coming to an end... I have five more days before I head to Hawaii. I absolutely love this place and am looking forward to coming back here after my stay in South Korea. The past two weeks have been quite different than the rest of my trip because I have been living as a Colombia, well not so much as a travelor. No I do not go to work or school, but I have been living in Medellin with a family. I go to work with them sometimes or I go to school with them. It has been great, one of my friends is going to school for Civil Engineering and I go to classes with him... and take notes... in Spanish... AND I understand what is going on! Haha, ... read more

South America » Colombia » Medellin February 11th 2012

Day 2 in Colombia and our final day in Medellin means cramming everything in under 12 hours. We were advised by a local to take the Turibus tour that also provided English speaking tour guides. That allowed Jose to not have to translate for the most part. There were 15 others on the bus and the tour guide spoke in Spanish for 20 minutes then condensed what he just said to 4 sentences of English. :) It was enough, though and he was nice and friendly to us. They did, however, have USA music playing on the radio and we got a little Vanilla Ice and Ice Ice Baby. :) We stopped a various places during the Turibus. In Downtown Medellin, there was a plaza that had huge figures/statues by the artist Fernando Botero. We also ... read more
Medellin

South America » Colombia » Medellin » Guatape February 10th 2012

Hola! We made it to Medellin, Colombia! It was a direct flight out of FLL to Medellin via Spirit Air. Customs was very easy and painless to get through. We stopped to exchange money for the cab ride to the hotel and were excited to learn that we were charged less than a $1 for the fees. Colombia uses the Colombian peso and currently we get approx 1800 pesos for $1 USD. The cab ride took us down the mountain into the city of Medellin. The views were beautiful and full of red brick buildings thoughout the city. The experience of riding in a cab was very scary and interesting. Dogs roamed freely and knew how to evade the vehicles. Motorcyclists swerved in and out of traffic and the cars were constantly watching their side view ... read more
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South America » Colombia » Medellin December 30th 2011

This blog is out of sequence, we still need to tell you about all the fun times in Panama and the boat trip to Colombia, but we wanted to get this blog out of the way before the new year to start 2012 afresh. 26 days ago after an afternoon of sightseeing in Medellin, we walked back to casa Waldron salivating over the promise of bacon sandwiches and out of nowhere I was hit by a speeding motor bike and have been hospitalised ever since. Thankfully I have no recollection of the accident, but Dave still has nightmares about it. I was hit by the motorbike and thrown 15+ metres along the road. I suffered 5 fractures of my pelvis, one in the lumbar sacral area, and four in the front, and my left hand (my ... read more
Dave and Sean dressed for isolation
frankenstein hand
finger gymnasium

South America » Colombia » Medellin December 29th 2011

Medellin was a really pleasant surprise. Admittedly we weren't quite sure what to expect. We'd heard it was much cooler in central Colombia, spread out, and recalled all those stories from the '80s and '90s when the city was known as among the most violent in the world. Today's Medellin couldn't have been further from any of that. The weather was sunny and an agreeable 26 degrees Celsius the entire time we were there, it was easy to get around thanks to a super-clean and efficient metro system, and people were extremely friendly which, we learned, is especially characteristic of the region’s people, known as the paisas (people who inhabit a region over northwest Colombia in the Andes). We figured a great way to begin our time in Medellin, which was extremely lush and green, was ... read more
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South America » Colombia » Medellin December 26th 2011

Cable cars lead you over the barrio (neighborhood). From the cars you can see Medellin in its entirety; a city of 4 million. The city has characteristic red-shingled roof tops, the color of blood, ironically. Medellin was once the murder capital of the world. Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar was killed here. As we glided over the neighborhood I couldn’t help but wonder of the violence that once perverted this city. Kids playing soccer and running around the neighborhood distracted me from that thought. They noticed we were looking down on them and they smiled and waved. Joy. At the top of the mountain is a nature reserve. Doesn’t it feel great to say those two words together? NATURE…RESERVE….Out of the concrete jungle and into the forest. Beautiful. The mountain plateaus and five minutes later you ... read more

South America » Colombia » Medellin December 25th 2011

Medellin, Colombia Walking through the market on Christmas Eve is nuts. Vendors line the streets by the thousands. Dodge pedestrians, weave in and out of traffic, avoid kids running at your feet; 10 minutes later and congratulations! You’ve made it 100 meters. Overwhelming. There certainly is some beauty behind the chaos. There are tons and tons of tropical fruit at your fingertips, music and dancing, and a machine grinding fresh sugar cane into juice. Add a hint of lime and imagine the taste. ..refreshing. If markets are your thing, this is the king of all markets. Next was the museum. Botero Botero Botero. Fernando Botero. The man that makes chunky look good. An entire floor dedicated to his art and about 20 sculptures outside. Such a unique style! I meander through the museum looking at painting ... read more

South America » Colombia » Medellin November 23rd 2011

As we only had a week left in Colombia, we decided to try and squeeze in as much of this fantastic country as possible, and opted for a night in the small town of Guatape. It was only a couple of hours away by bus, and was recommended by various travellers we had spoken to. We made our way to the North Bus terminal in Medellin, bought our tickets and were away…no hassles. The bus journey despite being short, still had it’s usual amusing quirks, this time being the vendors. Basically, they boarded the bus throughout the journey at various points, produced their sales pitch, and were then dropped off a few miles down the road. I think we had around 6 vendors board the bus in total within the 2 hour journey, all of whom ... read more
View from our hostel window1
The view of El Penol whilst walking to it
View from the top of El Penol

South America » Colombia » Medellin November 21st 2011

Fresh from Spanish school, we headed to the bus station for our next destination, Medellin. Once there, I was presented with a rare and thankful opportunity to talk to a local that wouldn’t talk too fast, and who would ask and answer questions like I had been taught in class. This person happened to be a 12 year old girl, who, after helping her Mum clear the plates from the meal we had just eaten asked me where I was from…in Spanish. Fantastic! I understood the question, and knew how to answer! To my surprise, she understood my answer, and we then proceeded to have a little chat using basic questions and answers…Name, where are you from etc. This was great practice and my confidence was sky high! Then disaster. After finding out that she was ... read more
Botero sculpture, Downtown Medellin1
The rather unattractive church made of bricks
View from the Cablecar2

South America » Colombia » Medellin September 18th 2011

The Feeling of Home Have you ever been to a foreign place that felt like home? There's a feeling of familiarity. There's strangers who remind you of people you know. It just feels comfortable.....Welcome to Medellin. Being back, over three years since we had first been there, felt like we had returned home. In July of 2010, Sarah and I had randomly (with some quick research) jumped on a plane to Colombia, to spend five days in a city called Medellin. Back then, most people thought we were crazy. "Why was this young couple going to a risky country like Colombia to stay in a dangerous place like Medellin - didn't they hear that was where Pablo Escobar was killed?!" Luckily, we like to make our own mind up about things and we had done enough ... read more
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