Debating with myself over what was the highlight of today.
It hasn’t stopped raining for much longer than a few minutes but thankfully in Villa de Leyva there are plenty of benches, stools and chairs lying around and most of them are under the terracotta roofs and free to use. Shelter and views are democratically distributed without you having to pay for a drink or a meal you don’t really want.
I really love all these “seating opportunities” scattered around town, it reminds me of the villages of Italy and how important it is for people to ‘live’ the streets and the squares. Not only that, but the social interactions, the peaceful pace of life and the breaks and pauses that are necessary to go about with your day…
Because of the rain, today I read a lot and had too many meals:
Had breakfast at Los Gallos, a little cute cafe with very good arepas but no jam (got a judgemental look when asked for it), I guess it makes it an authentic place where in fact locals hang out as well.
Had cake at the Pasteleria Francesa, a kitschy cafe/bakery with lots of ugly posters of the Tour Eiffel, mainly in black and white and with people wearing red coats in it, I’m sure you’ve seen these too. Cakes were ok, not extraordinary and not cheap either.
Then had a very good sandwich at Entrepanes, a cute little colonial house with a patio, a few tables and a courteous owner who could speak Italian. The food here is not cheap but fresh and yummy. The soup was delicious, they prepare everything themselves, including platano chips and mayonnaise…
Rain did not stop so the plans of hiking the mountain just north of the square and then cycling in the countryside are now the reasons to return to Villa de Leyva, one day, maybe.
So the other contester for the ‘highlight of the day’ was the Terracotta House. A little out of the city centre, there’s a house entirely built of terracotta, it’s orange, as expected, and so so wonderful, in a Gaudi style with wavy walls and roofs and extraordinary rooms ‘carved out’ of massive pile of mud, yes mud. Furniture is all built in, and in terracotta too.By paying around 10,000COP you can go in, roam the rooms (does it rhyme? I guess not), walk on the terraces, visit the maiolica bathrooms and showers and just pose for pictures in random domestic situations and pretend it’s your house.
It’s really worth going!
Last meal of the day was at Mercado Municipal, they have a few nice vegan/vegetarian options and a big dinner for two + 2 wine glasses came to less than $50, not cheap, I know!