In the streets of Medellin
Jul 01, 2011
Jul 21, 2012
A security guard standing in front of a large bank-like building gives us directions to the place we were most interested in: Plaza Botero, next to the Palace of Culture. The square offers a large open space and is filled with statues of the famous artist. Although I must admit I never was a fan of Botero's paintings, I do like his sculptures and the playfulness with which he explores and exaggerates curves and volumes. Exhausted, we decide to take a break from the crowds and find refuge in an indoor shopping mall courtyard where we grab a lunch in relative peace.
We then decide that we've had enough excitement and crowds so we take a taxi back to El Poblado, where we explore the neighborhood's two highlights: Parque Poblado and Parque Llera. Compared to the Centro, El Poblado is an oasis of calm and nature.
Today we decided to leave the suburban comfort of El Poblado to explore the center of Medellín. The recommended way is a bus tour called Turibus but we feel that 4 hours may be a bit too exhausting so we grab a taxi and ask him to drop us off at the Cathedral - usually a good way to discover the historical heart of a city. The Cathedral, just like many buildings in Medellín, is made of brick. It is large but not particularly beautiful. From there we make our way through Parque Bolivar, admire the statue of the hero and notice the eclectic crowd ranging from mothers with their kids to prostitutes and guys that look like they can sell you all sorts of illegal things. We move on and get quickly overwhelmed by the density of the crowds that walk everywhere in the city, by the number of stores. The sounds, the sights, the smell. Everyone is here: rich, poor, young, old, beautiful, ugly. There are no barriers, no filters. Cars zoom by, horns honk, and countless tiny yellow taxis swarm the streets in apparent chaos only interrupted by traffic lights and traffic cops.