Saturday, May 3, 2014

Saying Goodbye To Medellin

How fast time flies! my two weeks in Medellin are over and it's time to head back to Cali. Part of me feels like I have been in Medellin for so long while part of me feels like I just arrived yesterday to the city. I remember when I booked a bus to Medellin I was excited at the prospect of taking a break from the heat in Cali and spending some quality "me time" traveling in a different city where I knew no one.

On my first day in Medellin my host at the house where I have been staying, pulled out a map and showed me the various places I could check out and handed me a rechargeable metro card. I have to admit I was intimidated as I realized that I was on my own and I would have to figure everything out. Even though I have traveled to many places alone, the feeling of initial intimidation always presents itself until I settle down and get my bearings.

Two weeks later I am glad to say that I feel very comfortable moving around this city and I have managed to see and do a lot of things. Here are some of my highlights in Medellin.

Botanical Garden - A very peaceful place to just chill and take it easy. I liked visiting during the week because it was less crowded compared to weekends.

Downtown Medellin (aka Centro) - Crowded and chaotic just the way I like it. I never got tired of taking the metro to downtown because I really liked the vibe in downtown Medellin. I would take a walk along the busy streets checking out different stores and stuff that people had for sale on the streets. I liked observing the day to day hustle of city life.

La Minorista - As I have mentioned several times the variety of fruits to be found here is amazing and I have enjoyed sampling a lot of what I have had on offer.

Biblioteca Espana (Spain Library) - Unfortunately when I visited this library they were doing  some maintenance work on the building so I never got to see how it really looks like without the black clothe covering it. I liked that the library was the government's plan to give equal social opportunities to the surrounding population given that the surrounding neighborhood isn't well to do.

This is how the library actually looks like. I got the picture from google.

Park Arvi - Beautiful nature reserve away from the city and Ideal for camping or just surrounding yourself with nature.

Riding the Metro Cable - Medellin is a very hilly city and I like the innovation of the metro cable which gives easy access to certain areas that are located high up in the hills.

Pueblito Paisa - It's a replica of a typical small town in the department of Antioquia. It's located high up on the Nutibarra hill and getting there can be quite a work out! it was a bit over cast when I visited but I still managed to enjoy the lovely view of the city below. You can get amazing views of Medellin from up there.

Guatape - Why settle on a replica when you can experience the real deal? loved Guatape with it's vibrant colors and narrow streets.

The Artisan Market - Every first Saturday of the month there is a huge artisan market at the Simon Bolivar Plaza and you can get some cool handmade stuff pretty cheap. As luck would have it, my last Saturday in Medellin also happened to be the first Saturday of the month so I got to check out the market. I saw so many cute stuff but i had to resist the urge to buy because I don't want to be saddled with too much stuff. I ended up buying a hand made ring since I have a thing for rings, I wrote about it here Rings

My Temporary Neighborhood - As I took my last walk along the street I have used everyday for the past two weeks, I couldn't help but feel a little sad. I had grown fond of this neighborhood and hearing music blaring from the Roc House you see in the picture. It's actually a rock climbing joint, not a club.

Resident Dog - This little fellow amuses me all the time, I had mentioned before how much he likes fruits. Every time he sees me come in the house and smells the fruits I have brought along, he follows me and stands or sits right next to me giving me the cutest look until I end up sharing my fruits with him. He doesn't care much for pineapples, little dude is choosy with his fruits. This is the look I am currently getting as I type on here while eating some papaya.

That's it folks, there were many other highlights I experienced in Medellin besides what I just mentioned. It's been an interesting two weeks but now it's time to go back to good old Cali, land of: salsa, heat, curvy women and smooth talking dudes.

Random Thoughts Of The Day:

Some of the eye balling that takes place here from the men is unnerving. I have seen some men stare so hard at a woman to the point where I was scared I was about to witness an attempted assault. I am not exaggerating, some of the stares are scary and creepy!

I was walking back to the house from the metro and I noticed this dude blatantly staring at my chest while approaching me, he was not even discreet. I actually felt like he was going to do something crazy as he passed me so I crossed my hands over my chest. As he was about to pass me he craned his neck toward my chest and whispered in the creepiest voice, "Aii! mami!" I believe he was talking to my chest. We just ignored him, my chest and I.

I hope you don't think all the men here are creeps judging from my observations. There are nice and decent guys too, heck! I even managed to have a major crush on one so yeah, not all dudes are creepy around here.

I like it when it rains in the afternoon or evening while I am in my room watching CSI marathons while making sure my window is wide open so I can enjoy the site and sound of the rain..........bliss!

There are moments when It seems like I have been traveling for so long and I feel tired then I remember this is just the beginning of my journey, I have several other countries to check out. I believe there is such a thing as traveler's fatigue.

There is a chain of grocery stores called éxito and the first time I saw the name I assumed it meant exit. Wrong! turns out éxito in Spanish means success, now that makes sense.

Going into a store just to look at what they have on offer can be tiresome over here because the vendors are usually on your back trying to convince you to buy something after you have exchanged pleasantries. Sometimes I just want to browse without buying anything so I end up feeling awkward walking away empty handed..........awkward or not, I never buy something out of obligation.

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