Hotel La casona
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- Free parking
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... you name it ---- are decorated for these four weeks of celebration in anticipation of the actual Carnaval.
Carnaval has it's tradition dating back to the 19th century. The Carnaval celebration highlights specific Spanish (patoteo), African (congo) and indigenous dances along with Colombian music, mainly cumbia.
The Carnaval starts on Saturday before Ash Wednesday with the Battle ...
... about that to come!).
A half block away from my place, is the Catedral Metropolitano. This is one of the city's gems and considered one of two - 'must see sites here'. It's my neighbor and would be in my backyard if I was at home!
A couple of things about the cathedral are ...
... musicians who parade around the city while covered in flowers. We had a few beers and watched the parade in awe of the dancers and elaborate costumes. It really does blow your mind! After that we wanted around this marketplace filled with tons of little gifts, costumes, masks, hats, food, ect. Joe and John bought hats and Caroline and I got some really neat masks. We ended up heading to this market every day because there was so much to look at! Next we headed to ...
... up to sell us barbecued chicken, ice cream or beer every few minutes.
The party continued into the small hours at salsa bars and street parties around the city (though Pamplemoose's dancing skills have not much improved).
Tuesday marked the end of carnaval - yet another parade, but this one to mark the passing of 'Joselito Carnaval' - each barrio and dance ensemble joined the parade with its own representation of ...
... In Colombia, it's flour and purpose-designed cans of 'fuma' which looks a lot like shaving cream. Jose was keen for his charges to get into the spirit so kicked us off by covering everyone in foam. We quickly grabbed street vendors and bought ourselves cans to even up the fight. Spraying each other with foam and sampling the street food occupied our time until the parade started.
The parade was lively, colourful, long ...