Bogota, I think we’ve met before

The breakfast at Hostal Casu, if you are staying in the Candelaria district, is a very good choice. The cafe on the ground floor has white walls with big blue windows and doors, plants, magazines and a plethora of colourful furnishings.

El desayuno completo (full breakfast) consists of a small bowl of fruit, a coffee, some bread or croissant with jam and eggs – all of this for something around 3$.

I wish I could get my breakfast there everyday. Well, that’s a lie. I only like to go to new places, it’s risky but that’s what I do. Rephrasing it: I wish I could go to new places everyday and get the same value for my money. Better.

The Museo Nacional was pretty fascinating, an old prison I learnt, housed in a wide classical building with a bricks structure and a pretty garden in the middle.

I saw the first Botero(s) and loved them, though there were some early ones in a style I didn’t immediately recognise.

Walking back to the Candelaria from that area was too much of an entertainment. The city is extremely loud and busy, feels like Naples at times (and especially for the people who know how to get by, arrangiarsi is the untranslatable word I’m looking for).

Goods you can buy from street vendors:

cold sodas

phone minutes

lottery tickets

coffee, pastries and eggs even

braceletes

photo portraits (actually the list is loooong).

Bogota is many place I’ve been to, not just one. I saw the brutal architecture of Podgorica, the potholes in the sidewalks typical of Athens, the pastels buildings of Panama City…

Bogota, I think we’ve met before…

El Loto Azul is a nice simple vegetarian restaurant I bumped into and bought a vegan empanada from, for less than a dollar. I thought it was worth mentioning it.

The main highlight of the day though,  was the Botero Museum, it houses over 100 paintings from Fernando Botero and sculptures too. Besides being a very pretty colonial palace with a well maintained garden, being surrounded by those gentle/generous figures is both calming and ironic. The Botero’s Monalisa can be found there and that was a pleasant surprise.

Right when I was drinking an overpaid flat white (from trendy hip Azahar) the sun came out and decided to go get a taxi, get the cable railway and finally reach the top of Monserrate.

Monserrate is basically this hill, something like 3200 mt high, where there’s a church and a couple of tourist traps (restaurant, cafe, paying toilets). I’d always go to high view points to take the whole cities in, but truth is, Bogota is always in the fog or in the mist or in the smog. I’m very happy I went, it’s a really peaceful spot, but taking nice panoramic view pictures of the city is a white rhino-rare event.

The other adventure of the day, was to take a taxi aaaall the way to the “Bushwick” of Bogota, a place far north of Chapinero, so much ‘far north’, that it had little to do with Chapinero (the district)at all. That was supposed to be the ‘art area’ – something called San Felipe.

It might have been too late, or just not the right day or week or month, but most of the galleries were closed, despite google maps promises. I had only managed to get into KB which seemed a place with ‘potential’ (art space, bar, radio station, outdoor patio and vinyl store) except that it was empty…

Dinner at Salvo Patria, suggested by local friend turned out to be amazing, cheaper than NYC but pricier for a regular Colombian restaurant, for me it’s worth every penny!

I like Bogota, it’s a shame people spend only a few hours, it deserves a few days.

 

 

 

 

 

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