Tag Archives: paisa

Medellín, Colombia

25 Feb

Medellín, land of beautiful mountains, extensive array of flowers, and happy, hospitable people.

This was a weekend trip, 3 full days.  We loved every single one of them.

Driving or walking there’s always something to see.  Lots of green, and flowers of all sorts adding color to it.  Fruits are another thing in abundance here, you must try Lulo and granadilla.

Artistic graffiti decors almost every wall, that’s not a house of business.  The mountains are a site on its own.  The contrasts of these, with the buildings and blue skies is a breathtaking view.

The people obviously contribute to the magic of Medellín, with their attractive accent, good manners, open to talk and help anyone.  Where ever you go, you will get a “good morning”, “have a nice day”, help locating a place, or just making conversation while you wait for the metro or cable car, etc.  They are not afraid to be friendly, to be hospitable; in a world where people live afraid, so closed in, and knowing their past history, this was amazingly refreshing, and hopefully contagious.

Medellín has a lot to offer, for us to see.  We did a lot in those 3 days, and here’s a little preview:

Stayed at Loyd’s Hotel, at El Poblado.  Location is the highlight of this hotel. Quaint and away from the busy streets, but just walking distance to so many restaurants, parks, and bars.

If you have limited time, tours might be the best way to go. That’s exactly what we did.

Day 1

First day we did a half-day city tour.  This took us to Pueblito Paisa.  A cute little town, with incredible views

From there we went to Comuna 13 where the Electric Stairs are, and my favorite part, beautiful graffiti by one of their very own Chota13.
Although it’s a very humble community, the art on the walls, and even on the tin roofs, gives this place a lively atmosphere.

Cable cars is a fun thing to do. This is every day transportation to a lot of people.  To us, was a fun ride to see more of the city and its infrastructure.

Plaza Botero is good for pictures, with his oversized bronze statues, and if you have time, go to the museum to see his paintings too.

After our tour was done, we walked around to do a little tour of our own.  This would be a food and drink tour.

First we had lunch.  Soup, salad, rice, patacones, meat and juice. All for about $7 each.  Yes, delicious and cheap!

We found La Tiendita del Vino.  As soon as we saw their beautiful patio seating, we knew we had to just sit and relax there.

Walked around Parque la Presidenta, where a lot of artisans are to sell jewelry, art, and food.  Obleas are a must try, and regardless of what else you add to them, always have them with Dulce de Leche.

On the tour they told us of a brewery, so we searched and found it.

3 Cordilleras – after the 3 mountain chains that cross Colombia.  5 different beers available, and live music.

A couble of other bars and what would go better with that than a “perro”.  I’m not a fan of hot dogs but Colombians do know how to make them.

Day 2

Full day tour to Guatape, and La Piedra del Peñol

It’s about 2 hours from where we were staying but the ride is totally worth it.  So much to see.

We even stopped to see some farm animals.

La Piedra del Peñol is over 700 steps up.  Breath, take breaks, drink water, but finish it!  Believe me, you DO NOT want to miss that view from the top. Absolutely incredible.
Going down is not so bad so make sure you take as many pictures as you can, not sure how often you will want to go up there again  :p

We toured the city of Guatape and my favorite part was El Zócalo.

A very picturesque small town, with cobble stone, and colorful houses.  All decorated with zócalos (almost like tiles) at the bottom of them, some telling a story, others of what their professions are, or some of their favorite things.
Walking down the streets you can see the water.  This town really makes you feel relaxed and on vacation.

Time to go back and eat!

We made reservations at El Cielo.  One of Medellin’s top restaurants.

The restaurant is beautiful.  Filled with plants, wood high ceilings, with fans, making you almost feel that you are dining outside.

They have 2 menu options, we chose “The Experience” which consist of 13 courses.

This dinner was exactly that, and experience.  They not only work on taste but on all your other senses too.  Vision, smell, touch, and hearing when they describe each plate being presented.

Plating is clean and artistic.   Each plate has been thoughtfully selected to complimented what’s being served on it.

The chef plays with flavors, textures and colors.  Not to mention liquid nitrogen.

This menu also includes table- prepared coffee, and of course dessert.
Highly recommend this restaurant to anyone traveling there.  This experience is absolutely unique.

 

Day 3

Pablo Escobar Tour

I know there’s many people who are against these tours, and I can understand why.  There was a lot of suffering during that time.

But I’ve always believed that History is there to teach us and hopefully not repeat it.

And also think that, because they don’t want to repeat the fear and chaos of that time, is why the paisas are as friendly and lovely as they are.  They decided to make a difference.

The tour is very interesting.  You get to learn a lot of “both sides of the coin” – Pablo/ and the Government.

The views are wonderful in this tour, especially if you go to La Catedral.

There’s so much more to see in Medellín, to the point we already want to go back.

But, for now, I return home, and share with you my wonderful trip, as always hoping it moves you to plan yours as well, and helps you when you do go.

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