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Colombia - Bogota

18 °C

After our time in small, sleepy Salento, it was a bit of a shock arriving in the big city of Bogota. It probably didn't help that our bus arrived at 3 in the morning, in the rain, and with a population of around 8 million, it's pretty big. The city itself is a little more worn than other South American cities, and being at an altitude of 2,625m (I thought we'd finished with cities at altitude!!) it's cold, and raining the majority of the time during this time of year. The Candaleria is the old part of town and a nice area to stay (we stayed at the very nice Alegria's Hostel), the buildings have a nice character, and there are lots of uni students buzzing around. The nearby Monserrate cable car gave us a perspective of just how big this place is. It stretches up the green mountain bordering the east side of the city, giving great views out across the metropolis.

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We popped into the 'Museo de Oro' (Gold Museum), which was great, full of gold artefacts dating back hundreds of years and houses more gold than any other museum in the world. We aso visited the Mueso Botero, which is a free art museum which houses a few pieces by Picasso and Monet, along with many by Botero.

Our favourite time in Bogota was a Sunday. The main Avenue in the city centre, which stretches for several kilometres, is closed off to traffic, and every one flocks out into the street and walks, jogs or rides along. We hired bikes and checked out the street vendors along the way, sampling an interesting fruit salad and cheese combo, and some corn on the cob, and for a change the sun was shining. It's a really nice family day, and such a great idea because cities are so often quiet and rarely used on a Sunday...come on Australia!

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We visited the nearby 'Underground Salt Cathedral' at Zipaquirá, a daytrip from the Bogota. It was formed within an old salt mine, a large complex of tunnels stretching for a square kilometre. It started off as a mine which has been transformed into a holy place, with giant rooms in the middle for congregations of up to 8,000 people, which sits 180m underground. The walls have natural deposits of salt, so crystals are visible through the walls whole place. Paul loved it, but for me I prefer the traditional Cathedral, out in the open air, which doesn't lead you underground leaving you wondering if you're ever going to see daylight again!

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Posted by TheNomadWay.com 16:00 Archived in Colombia

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