Wednesday, February 02, 2011

All things wonderful about Medellin

Flower Power
The flowers you buy for Valentine's Day, may very well have originated in Colombia.  They are everywhere --- cheap, plentiful and a joy to behold.
I bought these beautiful, crazy looking flowers from my favorite street vendor, Leonardo, for $2!

Gerbera daisies

After taking Roger to the airport, Craig and I went to a nursery to buy planters for our balconies.  I bought 3 hibiscus plants that the nursery actually planted for me in the big planters I chose -- and all for $45!  I've spent more on petunias from Wal-Mart!
The blossoms are the size of bread and butter plates -- so far, so good!
We are looking forward to visits from friends in the next couple of months, so I thought I better check out some places to take them.

I took a city bus tour on the Turibus -- a good orientation to Medellin

Palacio de Cultura is in the Plaza Botero - it is said bull's blood makes the bricks red.  The metro runs along beside it.
"La Mujer" by Botero

Parks are plentiful in such a big city
Parque Explora is a wonderful place filled with interactive scientific displays and the largest freshwater aquarium in South America.  People from the poorest areas of Medellin are given free admission as part of the civic government's initiative to make educational and cultural exhibits accessible to everyone.

These frogs are the size of strawberries but are highly venomous!

Parque Explora is hosting a special and fascinating exhibit about the work of Richard Evans Schulte, a botanist and gifted photographer.  He spent years in the Amazon during the 1940s doing research into plants and the indigenous people.

Schulte's supplies

I love this picture.  Can you imagine meeting this woman in the jungle?

After Parque Explora, I went across the street to the Botanical Gardens and strolled through the beautiful grounds.

One of the highlights of the botanical gardens, is to walk into the Orquideorama - an outdoor oasis filled with orchids of every variety.  You can smell the fragrance of the orchids before you even see them.

People in Medellin exercise everywhere!  Here is a group right in the middle of the gardens.

Friendly gardeners
Medellin promotes exercise in many ways.  Each Sunday, a major road through El Poblado where we live, has two lanes closed to traffic for several hours so joggers, cyclists, and walkers can enjoy the freedom of exercising without worrying about traffic.
The parking lot of our apartment also hosts a Sunday aerobics class where more than 100 people participate each week!

Policemen with dogs are a common sight
Medellin has much to offer -- including beautiful weather.  While North America has been hammered by cold weather and snow -- the temperatures here are a wonderfully consistent 27C-29C each day.  

My next goal is to get involved in some volunteer work, and thanks to kind people I've met, doors are being opened.  Stay tuned to see where I go! 

I'd rather have roses on my table than diamonds on my neck.  
Emma Goldman

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