I got to be a tour guide when good friends, Shelagh and John Slater, arrived in Colombia for a 2 week holiday to celebrate their transition to semi-retirement. On my 54th birthday, I flew to Bogota to meet them and spend 2 days showing them around La Candelaria before we joined Roger in Medellin.
We stayed in a great little hotel, Casa Deco, in La Candelaria and enjoyed walking the cobblestone streets and seeing the sites.
|We enjoyed watching the sun set from the terrace of Casa Deco|
|View from the terrace|
|View from the terrace at night|
|Streets of La Candelaria|
|Street art in La Candelaria|
|Shelagh, Heather and John|
|Nicolas with Shelagh and John|
|Two helicopters landed on the Presidential Palace - quite a sight with other helicopters circling overhead|
|Not sure who these people were, but there was a lot of action on the rooftop|
|Bolivar Plaza is always an impressive sight|
|Primada Catedral with Montserrat in the distance|
|This unique church is dubbed the Pajama Church|
We then went to the Gold Museum...
|Breast plates were popular...|
|As were penis protectors!|
|A beautiful photographic display visually showed the many faces of Colombia|
|Salvador Dali sculpture|
|Botero states he doesn't paint large people because they are fat - but for their sensuality|
|John and Shelagh Slater|
|The best of friends|
|Laughter is certainly good for the soul|
|The church on top of Montserrat has magnificent doors|
We took another day trip to Guatape and El Penol. The countryside is lush and as green as Ireland.
|El Penol in the distance -- 627 steps up were waiting for us!|
|We all made it! That was our third trip up and only marginally easier!|
|I don't think so...|
|Guatape's church and plaza|
|Shelagh and I had a ball having a tour in this neat 3 wheeled taxi. The driver was a proud Paisa who with great flourish would show us various points of interest.|
|Medellin should be very proud of their metro system. It's clean, it's fast, it's safe, and incredibly well organized.|
|The cable cars reach out to the poorest areas of Medellin to enable it's citizens to have transportation to the city for school and work.|
|What a vantage point for this young man!|
|Parque Arvi is the newest stop on the metro system -- you go through farmland and jungle to get to it by cable car.|
|Beautiful hydrangeas in full bloom|
|Botero's sculptures and paintings are impressive and always make me smile.|
|John checking out royalty|
|Breathtaking murals in the museum|
|Painting by Francisco Antonio Cano|
|You can tell lots of people place their hands on this sculpture's butt as the bronze is wearing off|
|Shelagh celebrated her birthday in Medellin with us!|
|A family gathering wood in the midst of garbage caught up in the whirlpool|
I was sad to see Shelagh and John leave this morning, but remembered a favorite poem of my mother and grandmother. I've been reciting it in my mind all day.....
Don't be dismayed at goodbyes. A farewell is necessary before you can meet again. And meeting again, after moments or lifetime, is certain for those who are friends.