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Published: April 15th 2016
Drawn here by the promise of a town lost in its colonial richness, it was not hard to add this place as a stop on the way down to Bogota. Unlike many towns Villa de Leyva had preserved its history by maintaining its cobble stoned streets and white washed walls.
Our stay in Villa de Leyva was only brief. We spent our time walking the cobblestoned streets, admiring the quaintness of this town, the lovely ambience, people watching in the main square and taking in the mountains that soared all around this town. For us it was the simplicity in this visit that we really enjoyed.
Along with the church in the main square, we came across another few which was surprising to see given their close proximity to the grand church in the main square. On our second day we paid a visit to an unusual attraction on the outskirts of town, Casa De terracotta. An usually designed terracotta building not conforming to laws of symmetry, design and structure with its varying levelled interiors and quirky structures. In some ways in reminded us of the work of Gaudi from what we have seen in Barcelona previously. Sadly there
was no information on why it was built by whom and for what, so we did not fully understand the story about it and instead took it for what it was.
For us despite it being early December, Christmas had not really hit us as it normally does back home. It can be really hard to escape the craziness surrounding Christmas back home from the conversations we are pulled into - often, at least a 4 months before. Having the opportunity to escape the madness of Christmas shoppers, the hordes of people that crowd the city centre and the obsession with buying presents and gifts… for us this was bliss. We don’t have children so maybe if we did we may see things differently but boy were we happy to be away from it.
Don’t get us wrong there was an air of Christmas in places, like the lights in Santa Marta and the giant sized Christmas trees here and there. This however came without the air of franticness that surrounds you at home. Christmas here was not marketed in every shop window or in the town much at all. Here Christmas was evident via a Christmas tree
and the lights that line the streets, but in a nice little way. What turned it into Christmas was the cold weather. Having an elevated location, there was a real cold bite to the weather in the evening. Whenever the cold whether bites like this for us, it must be Christmas. This quaint version we much however prefer.
Another thing that we will remember about our stay here was the little hostel we stayed at. We had the loveliest hostel, always bringing us coffee, inviting us to join the family to Church and apologising for not accompanying us around the town. The hospitality we received from this hostel owner was so warming and welcoming and despite our often strained conversations due to our limited and confused Spanish, she always did her best to make us feel welcomed. If we were not limited by I hate to say it ….. Christmas… we would have stayed here longer.
10th December 2015
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