Sunday, 16 January 2011

Light show in the City of Eternal Spring

After a couple of lovely, albeit freezing, days in Bogotà, we jumped on a flight for the city of eternal spring - Medellin - and a visit with the beautiful Sofia and her family.
Well, jumped on a flight might be a slight simplification. In fact, on this 22 December, the low-cost airline that we were flying with seemed to be having some kind of pre-Christmas nervous break-down. All flights from Bogotà had originally been delayed because of some fog (although we had problems seeing where this fog was supposed to be), but after a couple of hours most flights started to take off. Except for the flights with our lovely 'Aires' company as for some reason the fog was still stuck, but now just around the aircrafts of this company.
So instead of taking off before 9am we finally left after 4pm, more than 7 hours late and with only sporadic trickles of information coming our way during this time. I was quite frustrated as our already short stay in Medellin (only 2.5 days) was getting even shorter as we lost an entire day. And the situation wasn't made easier for us when we heard that our amazing friend Sofia was waiting for us at the airport the whole day.
But next to some of the other passengers, we were incredibly calm. Some of them got so angry that the 4 police men finally came and stood around the flight company's representative to protect her. It was fairly insane. But understandable as the lack of information arriving our way from the company was completely inadequate, making the situation very frustrating.

Finally though the flight took off and about an hour later we arrived to the open arms of Sofia (who, incredibly enough, was still smiling) and an hour later of her family. The special lunch they had prepared for our arrival, was turned into a dinner and the only regret was that we only got to spend a couple of hours with her brother and father as they left for their country house to prepare for Christmas early the next morning.
Sofia though stayed on a bit longer and took us out for a really cool tour of the Christmas light show that Medellin is famous for. And it was truly amazing. A long path next to the river had been consacred to the light show, with one creation more hallucinating than the next.


And although we had left the colder Bogotà for the nice 20 degrees of Medellin, this was the first time I really started to feel like Christmas was actually around the corner (this year was the first one ever in my life celebrated in a warm country!). We had a great time and went home a few hours later, exhausted but very happy.

The next day our favourite guide took us up to a fairly newly created immense park where we enjoyed some traditional tamales for lunch. The park Arvi was very nice, but the most interesting was the incredible view we got from the ride up there.
They have built telepheriques up one of the hills surrounding Medellin to facilitate access for the people living there to the centre. And from there on, there's another telepherique taking one up to the park. And the view from both of them is just incredible and worth the whole ride up!





We continued the tour with a visit of the Plaza Botero in the heart of Medellin and some of the really cool statues that he has made and donated to the city (as we had spent hours in the Botero museum in Bogotà, we just had a quick look in the museum in Medellin, but a closer look to some of the statues in the plaza). And we finished the tour with a visit of the oldest plaza in the city, before taking a taxi to the supermarket - which was full of crazy last-minute Christmas shoppers - so that Sofia could make me a last juice with fresh lulo as there was only frozen ones to get in both Bogotà and Medellin.

After a very short break in the apartment, we were off once again for a super cool night with Sofia and some of her local friends. Starting off with a different dinner off arepa stacked high with yummy ingredients, we then continued on to a night club where the loud music was soon changed for a live band that pulled up everyone on the dance floor for a few hours of fun dancing.
We had a really fun night out, and as the first real party night that we have engaged in during this travel, it was even more fun!! Sofia's friends were really nice and fun, especially one of her best friends - her 'sister' - that we think was called Marcela (both Nuno and I really suck when it comes to remember names of people and as it has been a few weeks...).



The next morning, Sofia took off at an inhuman time to join her family for Christmas. We lolled around for a couple of hours, Christmas skyping with our families back home, before heading to the airport yet again for a flight to Quito and a fairly lame 'celebration' at the airport (I got a set of playing cards, and Nuno 5 dices for playing yatzy).

The original plan had been to celebrate Christmas with Sofia and her family in their country house, but a few days before we were due in Medellin, Sofia called to inform us that the situation out in that region (the country house is about 5 hours away from Medellin) had changed lately and it did not seem safe anymore for two foreigners, especially one being blond, to come with them as the rebel groups have gotten more active in the area, and the paramilitaries are regretfully more and more present.

It was a pity to have missed out on a Christmas celebration in family, but the time we had in Medellin still put me in the mood for the holidays. And it was fantastic to have seen Sofia again and spent this short time with her. The warmth and love from this girl will never stop surprising me.


Thank you for a lovely Christmas, for guiding us through your city, for all your love, for dancing the night away together and for being you.

1 comment:

various_artists said...

the dudes... that last picture can put you in the hall of fame of the dudes!!
living the life that the big lebowski always wished!