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Medellin
Written by sophie et jeremy   
Monday, 01 April 2019

In this big cosmopolitan city, we will meet with Carolina and Pablo, a colombian couple of climbers we met in Marseille 2 years ago. After studying in Italy for some years, and traveling a bit through Europe, they recently came back home, where they welcome us with open arms.

medellin medellin

Actually, we are greeted by the whole family in their big house, where we remember what a comfy bed and a warm shower are. That’s also the chance for us to discover colombian food and customs, as long as to discuss with their parents (as we are getting better in spanish language!). As a matter of fact, we can confirm the reputation for hospitality of the colombians as we have been like at home for almost a week!

The “city of eternal spring” lies between two cordilleras and gets a temperate weather year round; except now when we bring the rain with us... It doesn’t prevent us from visiting the city center, with not so many colonial remains, and the Botero square filled with statues from the famous sculptor.

medellin center 1 medellin center 1 medellin center 2 medellin center 2

We then go to the poor suburbs of Medellin, which look a bit like the brazilian favelas. The memory of Pablo Escobar, the well-known drug-lord who ransack the city in the 80’s, is still pregnant as the inhabitants benefited his gifts. Now the city is working for these areas, starting by improving the transports in original ways such as electrical stairs and cable-cars. It works pretty well as violence and traffic are decreasing and the neighborhood is now open to tourism. Street art also filled the place.

comuna 13 3 comuna 13 3 comuna 13 5 comuna 13 5

comuna 13 4 comuna 13 4 comuna 13 6 comuna 13 6

comuna 13 1 comuna 13 1 comuna 13 2 comuna 13 2

We drive 2 hours outside of the city to the lake El Penol. A dam has been built here 50 years ago, flooding 70km² of hills, which are now many islands, making this an iconic landscape of Colombia. Above it, is the Piedra de Penol, a gigantic granite rock, where we climb while admiring the views. Next to it is the city of Guatape, in which all the houses have their walls decorated with some kind of bas-relief called zocalos, depicting animals or daily life. That’s very pretty.

penol 1 penol 1 penol 2 penol 2

guatape 1 guatape 1 guatape 2 guatape 2

Our next destination, a bit south, lies across the antioquian countryside, crisscrossed by the Chivas, big traditional buses built with decorated wood . They are twice as wide as us, and quite hard to miss on these narrow mountain roads! After visiting el salto del Buey, a pretty waterfall that got us soaked, we arrive at la Pena. That’s a big rock overlooking the surrounding forest, a famous place for the local climbers, hikers and zip line enthusiasts. The place is gorgeous and the contact with colombian climbers community very pleasant.

salto del buey salto del buey chiva chiva

la pena 1 la pena 1 la pena 2 la pena 2

la pena 3 la pena 3 la pena 2 la pena 2

la pena 6 la pena 6 la pena 7 la pena 7

We leave Medellin fully happy with our stay there, convinced that we had the best possible experience in our limited time there!

la pena 5 la pena 5

 

Comments  

 
#1 Dmitrii 2019-04-17 05:02
that horse statue is the same like in Barcelona airport ))
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#2 jerem 2019-04-21 20:30
yes, they are both made by Botero !
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