Medellín continued


Next we visited Comuna 13, a mountainside area which
used to be dangerous but is now peaceful.

The government built community centers and soccer
fields for the young people.

Left:  This gym is covered with positive words such as peace,
honesty, and liberty.  Above:  Inside the gym

The government built escalators and cablecars so residents
can get to the city and to their jobs.

Red roofs cover the escalators

Comuna is noted for its outstanding street artwork.

Above:  Columns support the homes and businesss .

  Left:  Veronica posed with some soldiers. The city is very peaceful though, safer than the U.S. at this point.
   
                     Above:  Inside of the church at Guatapé

Left:  Military uniform from the war for independence  
          Bill was amazed to see that one of the generals
           looked like him.

This is El Peñol, a 656 foot high granite monolith
which we climbed.  I had climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro in
Africa but I was younger then.  This was a challenge!

I cannot believe we made it to the observation deck
on top -- only 740 steps!!!  I could not have done
it without Enrique and Veronica.

Halfway up is a first aid station and exit back down.

A dam has created a lake all around which is popular.

Village of Santa Fe de Antioquia

Villagers in Antioquia decorate and paint
their homes with different colors and designs.

Before we left MedellÍn, we visited a large, mountaintop park.

The cable car ride was great.

Although we stayed in the heart of the city, we discovered
el Poblado, a classy neighborhood.

No, we didn't drive to Bogota.

Bogota
Bogota, the capital of Colombia, was founded in 1538.  It is a modern city with towering skyscrapers
contrasting with centuries-old building dating from the Spanish colonial period.  We were there in July
which is winter and it got quite chilly at night.  

This is the spectacular view from Monserrate Peak.

Bogota's Cathedral

    Above: Capitolio Nacional
Right:  Interior of the Cathedral

    Above: Casa from the colonial period.

Right:  Street in Historic Center with balcony



Tallest building in Bogota and artwork on side of a hotel


We were there for their Independence Day - July 20th

The Museum of Gold has one of the world's largest collections
of gold.  

Right is an early Spanish golden real.
 
The Banco de Republica has a museum of Botero's paintings and bronzes as well as works by other artists.
Our big excursion from Bogota was a train ride to the Zipaquirá
salt mines which was a major resource before the Spanish arrived.  Today it is no longer producing salt but instead is a
cathedral with crosses of salt illuminated by LEDs.


Enrique and Veronica prepare to board the train.

  After the salt mines, we took a cable car to the top of Monserrate Peak.  There are restaurants, a church, and souvenir market.  Enrique discovered a different non-alcoholic drink, Pony Maltal.

  Above: The view of the city was spectacular.  
Right:  A relgious shrine is atop a nearby
hill reached by another cable car.

Above is the building where we had a great B&B.

Left:  The food wasn't as tasty as Oaxaca's but their tamales
            cooked in banana leaves were great!


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