My last few days in Medellin ran away from far too quickly! Victoria and Laura, the mother and sister of my friend Juliana from BA, were just delightful. I really felt at home at their place. I visited the the Museo Antioquia where there are hundreds of works by Botero and other works by South American artisits donated by Botero from his personal collection. I dont know if you have got it much from this travel blog but I am not normally one for museums and art galleries. On my trip to Ecuador I finally gave myself permission not to visit them anymore. I had a moment of clarity where I thought Juliet, you dont like museums. You do not have to visit them if you dont want to. So since then I have felt free not to visit any museums. The Museo Antioquia in Medellin however has changed my mind! I was lost in the world of Colombia art for over two and a half hours and I loved it! Maybe I will change my plan to include art galleries. I really should visit the gold museum in Bogota though. It has an international reputation as being an incredible museum. Ill put it on my list for the three days I have back in Bogota!! Ha ha! After the museum I had a coffee in a great cafe overlooking the Parque Botero where the bulk of Boteros sculptures are. I had brought a book to read but in the end I just spent an hour drinking coffee and looking out on the park admiring the sculptures. Just awe inspiring!
On my last day in Medellin I was determined to visit Parque San Antonio and the sight of Boteros bird of peace, along with some other impressive sculptures. Botero sculpted the bird of peace to be located in the Parque San Antonio as a message of hope of peace for a troubled Colombia. In an act of cruel irony, a guerrilla bomb in 1995 destroyed and sculpture. At Boteros request the sculpture was never repaired as a symbol of the fragility of peace. A memorial to those who died has been unscripted on the sculptures base. Botero donated a second bird of peace to be placed next to the damaged sculpture as another message of hope and peace for a troubled Colombia. The damaged statue is an eerie reminder of what was once a daily part of life in Medellin. 1995!! Gosh I was happily in year 7 then! This trip is really helping me to appreciate the life that I have lived. It seems so ridiculous now to think of how I have always taken peace for granted when here are friends of mine who have had friends die in purposeless guerrilla activity or the latest drug cartel attacks. Peace is a transient concept. How quickly a sign of peace (like Boteros bird of peace) can become a sign of war (now a memorial to those that died). I guess Boteros point is that we should remember that.
On Thursday I caught the very long bus up to Cartagena! I think that is my last long bus ride so I am super pumped! And I have finally stopped following the winter!! Hello sunshine!! Rather a lot of it, and combined with the humidity, boarderline uncomfortable, but sun is sun and I am not complaining!! When I first arrive here I wasnt really a big fan of my hostel. It is a little expensive and the facilities are not that great. So on my first day I went in search of another one. I found nothing which was better than the original hostel so I decided to stick it out for a couple of days and then move on to Santa Marta relatively quickly. Boy was I wrong! I have fallen in love with my hostel. It is not a very professionally run place but that is kind of what makes it. It is more like a group of mates hanging out in a house. There are only about 20 beds and the place is not full so it is more like a big house than a hostel. It is right on the beach in the swanky area of town which for me I like because I can have coffees and ice creams, go to the cinema, do some shopping etc. But I guess that is not very everyone. In the centre of town is the historic district which is now a UNESCO heritage site. As a general rule I am a huge fan of UNESCO heritage sites. Cartagena is no excpetion. Unfortunately though at night the historic district is not the safest place and as a lone female traveller I thought it best to stay in a safer area. Also being a little far from the beach (about 10 minutes) I almost died from heat exhaustion!! So in the end I am very happy in my little hostel in Bocagrande.
On Friday night I went out salsa dancing with some of the guys from the hostel. It was great!! There was a live a band and I danced with a whole heap of awesome Colombian and Cuban dancers. We met a baseball team here from Miami and they gave us VIP tickets to their baseball game the following night (we didnt go! But was pretty funny). Yesterday I went surfing with one of the guys who works in the hostel. Besides from the part where a choked on about 10 litres of water, and the part where I lost my bikini (twice), I had a great time! Tonight is the big lighting of the Christmas lights ceremony. Not sure what the whole ting really entails but apparently EVERYONE goes out onto the streets and afterwards there is a big party. Hmmm… not really sure but sounds like a lot of fun anyway!
posted Sunday December 2008