Thursday, September 09, 2010

Where Europe meets South America

It was time to leave the my neighbourhood and explore more of Bogota.  According to Trip Advisor, La Candelaria was the place to go, and Bogota Bike Tours was highly recommended for providing great tours.  I knew it was far better for me to keep my two feet firmly planted on the ground, so opted for a walking tour of the historic district.

I was lucky to have a wonderful tour guide, Nicolas, who teaches history and political science at one of the universities.  He also lives in La Candelaria, and so was the perfect person to describe the historical and back stories to every place he took me to.

I wanted to go to see Fernando Botero's museum, and so we spent time enjoying his quirky artwork.  I love his larger than life paintings and sculptures --- I find it impossible not to smile while viewing his work.  Botero also donated many of his private art collections including pieces from Renoir, Matisse, Dali, and Picasso. 

We then walked to Simon Bolivar Plaza which is home to thousands of pigeons (but the plaza is remarkably clean if you get my drift) and it was amazing to see various types of architecture, so depending what direction I looked, I felt like I could have been in Paris, Seville or New York! 

Police were visible, and when passing near the Presidential Palace (below), our bags were checked.

I could only take a photo of the palace from the road, but Nicolas assured me the guards and police were for the most part friendly. 
With more than 20 churches in the area, each were unique and  wished I had been able to take pictures inside as they were incredible in their ornateness and sometimes breathtaking simplicity.

Street art is a part of the area, and it reminded me of some of the street art in Dublin.

Bogota is under construction, and Nicolas showed me this theatre that is being restored --- check out the scaffolding -- it's made of bamboo.

Next week I'm going to travel up to Montserrat which is supposed to give a fabulous view of the city.  I can either hike 3 hours or take the funicular (it's to the right of the church going straight up the mountain).  Pretty easy guess as to what I'll be doing.

While taking a taxi home (the most dangerous part of my day --- I really think lane markings are just a waste of paint) I couldn't resist this picture.  Check out the sticker on the left hand window.

"My favorite thing is to go where I have never gone."
Diane Arbus

1 comment:

Andrew Mac Ewen said...

Always love the updates,