Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Musuems, English Speakers, Musuems, Did I Get Pickpocketed????

Here you have a golden snail found in the Bogotá gold musuem. Originally this was actually a sea-snail plated with gold and over hundreds of years the snail shell disintegrated leaving only the gold. We saw a variety of gold ornaments from Colombian peoples going back hundreds of years. Needless to say, the downtown area of Bogotá is filled with musuems. We have been going to a different musuem almost every day and all of them are very affordable, if not free, and are very well maintained. We have seen Picassos, Chagalles, Cezannes, and many more. We have also learned a great deal about the history of Colombia and its history with Spain. Here you can see me hiding behind a Botero sculpture.

Interestingly enough there are many people learning English in this city. In fact, one evening we were followed home by someone who we thought was up to no good...turned out he had just heard us speaking English and wanted our email so we could help him practice. We also met some schoolgirls in one of the musuems who really liked Sarah's hairdo, and thought it was very chevere that she speaks English. Just yesterday, in the Zona Rosa, we met a (possibly drunk) translator who overheard us speaking in unnaccented English and invited us over for a drink whenever we want. We may skip that one. Our host, Edwin, knows a lot of words in English, but it seems like he learned it in school ten years ago and hasn't had much practice.

This is the view of the city as we went up the teleferico to Monserrate. This is a big hill on the side of the city with a church and some very nice restaurants at the top. After going down from the hill after sunset we wandered over to the Septimazo. Every friday night seventh street shuts down in a certain area and becomes a walking street filled with painters, vendors of all things, and street performers. We watched some interesting painting in action as well as ate some kabobs and delicious filled arepas.

On Sunday we went to Zipaquira where there is a salt mine and a cathedral built in it 180 meters underground. We learned all about the different salt extraction techniques used over the years. Nowadays they pump water into the chambers and suck out salt water through a system of pumps that send it to a local salt factory. There used to be an older cathedral in the salt mine but it was closed due to safety concerns and rebuilt. Now they have some roof sections reinforced wih metal and eucalyptus wood. They also leave salt pillars that are probably 10 meters in diameter to hold up the roof of the mine. There is also a tourist train that takes you on a tour of the small town of Zipaquira. Here Edwin is posing with us in front of the trencito.

In addition to all the musuems, we also went to see the Avengers in 3D for a mere $10,000 pesos each. Also, we went to the Bogotá Beer Company after our trip to Zipaquira. The best little brewery in Bogotá as it's called. And today, on our way back home on the TransMilenio I'm fairly certain someone tried to pick my pocket in the crowd. I felt a finger in my pocket and when I grabbed it the guy behind me to the side mysteriously dissapeared. Anyways, we took the TransMilenio home and met a girl from New Jersey going to school here, also getting squished on the TransMilenio. Looks like we will probably be going to Cali within the next few days and will keep you posted.

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