Friday, January 16, 2009

In the Land of the Paisas

Here we are in Medellín, the “City of Eternal Spring.” It truly deserves this label, as the climate is about as perfect as one can imagine.
Before we drove here from Bogotá on January 5th, we visited the capital’s Plaza Bolivar where the Christmas lights portrayed winter scenes; the other three seasons were featured in different parts of the city.
But “eternal spring” sounds good to us, so we drove back down the eastern branch of the Andes to the Magdalena River at Honda. From there we traveled north toward Puerto Boyacá and west up the central branch of the Andes to Medellín. The 8.5-hour trip was a little tedious, but also scenic and pleasant. We knew we had arrived when we drove under the pendulum marking the approximate center of the modern city.
Thanks to the connections of our friend Jorge, we were able to immediately unload the camper off the truck and store it at a garage. This process reaffirmed in my mind the friendly helpfulness of the Paisas and their creativity and resourcefulness in getting things done.
Now we again have a very useful pickup truck, and we already used it to go flying at Juan Cojo, where we last were two years ago. Who would have thought then that we’d be driving our Toyota up this slope next time we’re here; this is how life happens...
We’ve done a few things around town: we traveled to the higher neighborhoods (barrios) by “Metrocable” cable car; Medellín has two of them and is building a third. The cable cars have changed these poor barrios for the better, especially where the city has built libraries near the high terminals.
By being tied directly to Medellín’s metro trains, the cable cars efficiently connect the high barrios to the city’s modern down-town with its business and cultural centers. One such center is the Parque Botero, where one can stroll among the huge bronze sculptures of Medellín native painter and sculptor Fernando Botero.
We also took a car tour of the stunningly amazing Christmas lights of Medellín and cities to the south. We took a car, because seeing the lights just in Medellín on foot would take days, and we didn’t have that much time; next year we will, though.
Now, we’re starting to get settled in and taking care of necessary arrangements. We’ll keep you posted...


Terra & Bill said...

Dieter and Marcella, Great blog. You have truly found a wonderful place. It looks great. You aren't missing anything here (Pacific NW USA) in terms of weather: snow, wind, flooding.

Marcela and Dieter, ShredAir said...

Terra, Bill,
We have lost your e-mail address. Would you please send us one directly? We'd like to stay in touch...