It's rainy in Medellin & I'm hungover off Aguardentes (some Colombian liquor that's clear = DEATH) so i thought it would be a good time to write. As much as I loved Cartagena, the heat of the city was rather oppressive, so it's nice to be in Medellin where it's green, lush... and a lot cooler.
I've been walking around and exploring the city, which was once notoriously known as the world's most dangerous city. And when you consider that Lebanon was in the middle of a civil war at that same time.. Medellin was pretty fucking scary. It's obviously incredibly different right now, filled with friendly people, a growing tech sector (they're supposedly trying to make it the silicon valley of South America) a vibrant nightlife, and a super efficient and uber clean metro line.. the only one in the country! Lots of good & exciting stuff!
I took a flight on VivaColombia, which was around $30 (less than a cab from Manhattan to Queens!) and in an hour and a half, I arrived to the city. I then caught the local bus, which was another $2, since a cab would be $30USD (almost as much as my flight DUDEEEE!) Medellin is hilly so on our way to the city, through the winding roads, there was a beautiful thunderstorm (albeit, slightly frightening). When I arrived at my hostel in El Poblado, the more upscale part of the city, I decided to stay in and read since the weather was crappy.. and because reading is fundamental...
The next day, I woke up pretty early to take a free walking tour with Real City tours. Our guide was an awesome dude from Medellin (a Paisa) who gave us personal anecdotes about growing up in the city during the height of the violence. While there were some sad and scary stories, he was extremely hopeful and optimistic at the end, and also proud of his city and country.. which is what I've experienced when chatting with most Colombians.
My favorite place on the tour was Botero Plaza, which contained sculptures donated by the Medellin born artist, Fernando Botero. His signature style, also known as "Boterismo", depicts people and figures in large, exaggerated volume (which is now how I'm going to reference any future weight gain hehe!)
After the tour, a couple of us went up on the cable car, where there were spectacular views, and wandered around Santo Domingo favela. I went back, took a nap, and woke up in time to go out for a few drinks. however, i was pooped, so I didn't stay too long.
The next day I met up with my friend Willy's cousin, Tomas. We met at Sabaneta and ate at a restaurant. Then we ventured off to Pueblito Paisa, where there were awesome 360degree views of the city. He was was trying to practice his English, so we carried on in my broken Spanish and his tremendously good English.
We met up again at night, at Parque Lleras, Medellin's most happeningggg place, along with his sister, and my new friend Max, whose traveling from the States on the same Gringo trail. We ended up going to a salsa bar, where Max and I were the only Gringos. It was an interesting, sacreligious decor (my favorite) and we had a ton of fun dancing until my feet started hurting :( The Colombians obviously put my dance skills to shame, but it was still fun shaking my hips and trying to keep up. I swearrrr.. it's magical watching them dance... especially when the guysss are movingggggg..
So that's all for nowwww... i'm going to a soccer match later today, which should be loads of fun :) I have a few more days in Medellin before I head down to Salento, so updates soon :)