Sunday, August 19, 2012

Gold, Art and Soldiers

Greetings from Bogota!

Yesterday and today were great. Bogota is a vibrant city and the downtown core where we’re staying has a real youthful vibe because it’s also a university town and a lot of them are clustered around this area.

Yesterday we spent at least two hours in the national gold museum. I know, it sounds boring but it’s an amazing place and it’s as much an archeological museum as anything else and there are incredible displays of gold and gold work from 900 BC, right up to the time of the Conquistadores. We also spent at least two hours in the national art gallery and another hour touring displays in the national bank. Who would have thought that a national mint and bank would be interesting but it was amazing and really held our interest.

Today we saw something real cool. Bogota is a really family centric city and on Sundays the city closes 135 klm (yes, 135 klm)of main roads and thoroughfares to only pedestrian and bike traffic. Riding bikes is a national pastime here and this morning we saw part of it. Literally as far as the eye could see all the main roads were closed and it was a sea of families riding all kinds of bikes everywhere. We could learn a lot.

We finished the day by walking back down to the main square to see the changing of the presidential guard. A lot of pomp and circumstance and military bands etc and well worth while.

Our thoughts so far;
Not what we expected - not as cosmopolitan as we thought it would be and a lot more litter. It’s still great - just a little different and a LOT of graffiti down town. But….. No security issues whatsoever. We haven’t felt threatened in the least and in fact no one really notices you or looks twice even though there’s a noticeable lack of tourists.

Anyway, we’re alive and well and heading to a small town in the mountains tomorrow afternoon.

Dale and Rosi

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