As I rushed from work to Reagan National Airport, my heartbeat began to accelerate. In less than eight hours I would arrive in Bogota, Colombia.
Colombia hadn’t been on my original list of countries to visit in the next five years. The list, which seems to grow each month, includes Vietnam, Cuba, Brazil, China, and India. I hadn’t ever really thought of Colombia as a place I needed to see. However, when my sister announced that she was visiting Colombia and I should join her, I started to consider Colombia as a country worth seeing.
You see, my sister is sort of an epic world traveler. She’s got to be pushing nearly fifty countries visited at this point. For a kid who barely left his neighborhood growing up, that’s a big deal.
So I decided to join my sis and head to Colombia. Land of Pablo Escobar. The place where all the cocaine comes from. Would I be kidnapped by rebels as soon as I got there and held for ransom? Wouldn’t they be able to tell that my family doesn’t have much money and instead target someone with a surly attitude and deep pockets? Did my questions make me sound like an ignorant Gringo/Yankee with no clue? It didn’t really matter. By midnight, I arrived in Bogota.
I was expecting a city locked down by military personnel. Instead, I encountered a trendy, bohemian city filled with culture and adventure.
Within four days, I had visited the world famous Gold Museum and Botero Museum, wandered around La Candelaria, fed a Llama at Plaza de Bolivar, taken panoramic photos of the sprawling city from atop Mount Monserrate, explored Cathedral of Zipaquira which is carved into a salt mine more than two football fields underground, sipped on Coca Tea, and braved hail storms and traffic jams while biking across Bogota.
About the only thing I didn’t get to do was see the Laguna de Guatavita, origin of the Legend of El Dorado. We traveled by car for nearly three hours only to discover that the lake was closed. Come on Colombia, who closes a national park on a Monday?
After a whirlwind of sightseeing and adventures, I must say that I LOVE Bogota. I was sad to leave, but the city of Cali awaited.
Check out more of my Bogota pics here.