Wednesday, April 25, 2012

The Continuing Adventures in Medellin!!!

It's really amazing how far Medellin has come. To imagine that 20 years ago hitmen patrolled the streets on motorcycles, and that Pablo Escobar was the seventh richest man in the world is mind-blowing. Now this city is run efficiently with modern schools, libraries, and eco-friendly public transportation. Today we learned that the Coca-Cola delivery truck is electric! (That helps explain why it is silent.) Due to the geography of the city, some places are easier to get than others, or so you would think. The ciy is laid out north to south along a river with mountains on either side. The neighborhoods extend up into the mountainside. The metro, along with many bus lines head north-south along or parallel to the river. However, climbing up some of these mountains can be quite challenging, Medellin came up with a better way.

Here we have Sarah riding the MetroCable up into the clouds. Aside from providing an amazing view of the city, this extension of the metro is an affordable way for literally thousands of people to get to work everyday. The price of the MetroCable is included in the regular price of a metro ticket, about $1.00 US. However, on Sunday, we took the extension of the MetroCable for another two bucks or so and went to the very top. Here there is the Arvi national park. We sort of took a tour with one of the ladies who works at our hostel and Arthur, a traveller from Norway. Somehow we lost the tour and ended up wandering around the park for a few hours. It has free entrance for the bulk of the area, there is another part of the park where you can go ziplining, eat lunch, etc. We had an enormous steak for lunch which we shared and could still barely finish before we headed home.

On Monday we headed downtown on the Metro to go to Parque Explora only to discover that it is closed every monday. We decided to wander around the area for a bit near the university. We decided we would go to the Museo de Antioquia, where many Botero works are housed. We started walking through a neighborhood which seemed fine during the day, although at night we probably would not have wanted to flash our camera around. Even so, there are a lot of green areas, and we walked by a open air workout space with some people getting some exercise. After walking to the next metro station we decided to take the metro to the musuem since it was really hot and we still had a way to go. There are numerous Botero works on exhibit at the musuem, including the piece above depicting Escobar's death. In the plaza outside there are a lot of sculptures in Botero's unique style. There are also a lot of people hanging out, seems like a popular place to meet friends, lots of street vendors as well. We also stepped into the cultural musuem around the corner but decided we were a bit overmusuemed, we will probably check it out in a few days.

Tuesday we finally made it to Parque Explora, where we saw Nemo! This musuem is geared more towards children with a ton of interactive exhibits. We spent the day racing against armadillos and elephants. We learned about Archimedes' drill(google it). They also have a vivarium and aquarium. Given our history with reptiles, the vivarium was something of a letdown, but I'd imagine that the average Colombian doean't have an albino ball python waiting for them at home. The aquarium was very well done, there was even a multi-story tank with a tree growing in it along with a bunch of swimming fish. Oddly enough the musuem is so big it has something of a food court, including a Dunkin' Donuts; no we did not eat there. Oh, and Sarah might have gotten eaten by a dinosaur.

Today we went to one of the suburbs, Envigado. It seems like it was the upper class area before Poblado, there are a lot of nice buildings that are a bit older, in varying states of repair. In the next few days we will visit a few other neiborhoods, and try to take a Pablo Escobar tour. Stay tuned for upcoming reflective posts as we hit the 6-month mark of our journey.

1 comment: