2016, Personal, Travel

Riley Goes to Colombia Day 2 – February 11, 2016

After breakfast, we took another long cab ride to a mall, where we met Loon, our guide, for a tour of one of Bogota’s big food markets. We tried the following over the course of the morning:

Sancocho de pescado  Fish soup made with plantain, yuca and potatoes.
Arepa de queso – Colombian arepa filled with gooey double cream cheese [better in Bogota than Medellin]

2. Fruits
Feijoa – Green, bubblegum tasting fruit
Granadilla – Sweet passion fruit
Pitaya – Yellow dragon fruit
Mangostino – This was the final one we ate that looked like garlic cloves.

3. Fried stuff
Pastel de yuca – like an empanada but made with yuca and filled with rice, beef, chicken and boiled egg
Empanadas – Colombian style empanadas filled with potato and beef
Avena helada – Cold oatmeal based drink that tasted like a caramel milkshake

4. Lechona – Pork and rice dish

5. Baked goods
Pan de bono – Cheesy bread filled with bocadillo (guava jam)
Almojabana de maiz – Sweet corn bread.

6. Juices
Maracuya – Passion fruit
Tomate de arbol – Tree tomato [my favourite juice while in Colombia, like a combination of melon and tomato]

6. Desserts
Postre de limon – The creamy lime dessert that tasted like cheesecake.

That’s from an email Loon sent me afterwards. The tour was great: really informative and it allowed us to get a good sense of the city, as Loon took us downtown for the dessert, and we rode the bus.

Then we went to the gold museum in the downtown. It cost slight more than a dollar each for us to go into this museum, which contains numerous examples of pre-Columbian gold work from various tribes throughout Colombia (as well as some work including precious stones). Some of these pieces, especially the small pieces, are utterly incredible and shocking for societies that hadn’t achieved even middle ages-level metallurgy. Some of these pieces were just remarkable. And the museum ends with a light show set to indigenous music. A remarkable museum that is shockingly affordable and well worth the visit.

We had so much food in the morning that we didn’t want to eat lunch. So we walked around the Old Town.

Church Bogota
Church in Old Town Bogota

We walked to the Plaza Bolivar, the main feature of the Old Town.

Plaza Bolivar Bogota
Plaza Bolivar

More pigeons than you’ll see most places.

After wandering around the old town, we made our way to the “Egyptian” Church, part way up the side of the mountain:

Egyptian Church Bogota
Egyptian Church

I don’t know enough about architecture (or Roman Catholicism) to know why it’s called “Egyptian” but it was a neat walk, with nice views, and worth the trip.

After that, we wandered towards are hotel, since Loon had assured us that it was safe to walk. We did the following (roughly, as we were further up the mountain than the Plaza Bolivar when we headed out):

When we got back to the hotel, they still hadn’t cleaned our room, even though it was after 5. So we didn’t get it cleaned. Later, we went out for burritos. That’s two foreign dinners in a row, but I figure we made up for it with the market tour.

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