Oh my goodness, Bjd ~~ this is a real transport to another place. Who knew??! The pictures are like one of my own dreams of jumbled places -- a combination of Oaxaca, New Orleans, Madrid, and San Francisco.
My entire impression of Bogotá was based on my assumption that it was the home of Fernanda in 100 Years of Solitude: "She had been born and raised in a ... gloomy city where on ghostly nights the coaches of the viceroys still rattled through the cobbled streets. Thirty-two belfries tolled a dirge at six in the afternoon. . . . "... he came to an unknown city where all the bells were tolling a dirge. Although he had never seen them ... he immediately recognized the walls eaten away by bone salt [and] the broken-down wooden balconies gutted by fungus ..."
Perhaps it's the effect of the overcast skies, but the photos don't completely overturn my preconception. There is certainly a sense of oppressive history, ingrained class system, and lives hidden behind facades in the pictures, although I do realize I'm being highly fanciful.
Whatever ~~ your photographs are magnificent. I am in awe of your powers of composition. Each picture contains so much information and gives such a good idea of scale. Almost every one of them could stand alone as a great picture, without need of caption.
Like Imec, I didn't know that Bogotá was so hilly. That 5th pic is positively vertigo-inducing!
That is a massive public square. Surely the Christmas tree is not one single tree, right? Love the wall art, particularly the exuberant piece on the golden wall. This was a great look at a place I'd never thought of as a tourist destination. Your pictures have changed that and made me want to know more. Thanks!
Yes, that is one Christmas tree, although there were some other tall plastic flowers set up on the square. The locals seemed to appreciate them
Bogota is not in fact that hilly. The old section of Candelaria climbs up the side of a hill, but most of the rest is quite flat and set in a long valley. We were told the city is 60 km long and about 15 wide. The city is at 2600 metres altitude, and there is a funicular and cable car to get to one called Monserrate at 3200. There is a chapel there (and souvenir shops) and some pilgrims walk up.
Here you can see Monserrate. We went up by funicular.
Here you can get an idea of the hill from Candelaria
BJD,these are amazing. I ,like everyone else it seems on here ,was unaware of many of the images you portrayed. The wall art is very cool,and yes ,a very fanciful depiction of daily life. I agree, the more modern Bogata does not appeal to me either. Thanks for these,great photos.!!
bjd - this is my first glimpse of Bogota.......very interesting. That's a great shot looking towards the city from Candalaria. I felt like I was there! Please tell us more of your impressions...where did you stay? what food did you eat? was it warm? did you enjoy your stay? were you there recently? would you recommend that we go there?
Yes, please -- I'd love to know the answers to Spindrift's questions.
As you say, modern stuff isn't always as good a photo-op as old, but what did modern Bogotá have to offer -- art galleries, good restaurants, .... ?
I think the Christmas tree is great and absolutely love the big plastic sunflowers. That kind of art, where the reaction to it is a great part of the art, is so much fun. The red trees are a great touch, too. All that color and the exaggerated changes in scale of the materials used are a witty take on the whole municipal Christmas decoration thing.
Thanks for the details about the the city's setting. I did think it was on a high plateau. It seems to be such a pretty place in a rather dramatic setting.
I would like to hear some more about as well,particularly the food and your lodgings. I am curious as well as to why you chose here as a destination,a particular must see place you hadn't been? I especially enjoy how in your written report to us early on when you were there,the visual image it conjured up in my head,and how seemingly close your words and photos are to one another. (the plastic flowers an especially nice touch! )
To answer your questions: Although Colombia is a place I have been wanting to go, simply because I like S America and also because I have read good things about it, we went now because my son and his wife had a second wedding on December 19. They got married here in France in August, and held a second wedding in Colombia for relatives there. So we made it into a vacation and went from Dec 9 to 29. It was more a family holiday and less tourism than I had hoped for.
In Bogota we stayed with my daughter-in-law's parents in a fancy apartment in the area shown by the last modern picture. We only spent 2 days walking around in Bogota, one outing to Monserrate, and 2 days going outside the city to visit smaller towns and the countryside.
Food -- well, I'm not especially interested in food. On our own, my husband and I went to a little place and had the menu del dia
Had no idea what we were getting, but it was some sort of fish, rice with coconut and plantain. My husband had a sweet corn-based soup and we had jello for dessert. =)
In general, I mostly appreciated the fruit and fruit juices. The food tends not to be very tasty or spicy. We had some traditional soups made at home and on the coast, the choice was often fish.
Bogota being at 2600 metres and not far from the equator, it's more like year-round spring. The days are usually in the low to mid-20sC -- we had clouds on the day of some of those pics, but sun the next day. The nights are cool and you need a jacket. Daybreak is before 6 am and night falls before 6 pm.
There are lots to do. We went to the Musel del Oro -- full of pre-Colombian arts -- mostly gold.
Also the Botero museum and the National Art museum -- both of which are free. There were lots of cultural things going on, as well as a huge handicrafts exhibition, but as I said, we didn't spend much time in Bogota. Also, on Sunday mornings, many streets are closed to cars so that people can go out and cycle or jog. There are also concerts.
But I would say you need to speak Spanish or be with a local, because many people don't speak English.
I couldn't possible make recommendations on going anywhere without knowing people, Spindrift. From the little I have seen on here, you seem to be interested in Buddhism, architecture and spirituality. Colombia is a place with lots of noise, music as loud as possible on every bus, shop, etc. But, people are extremely nice and helpful if you ask directions or for information. That said, there is still violence, lots of police and army around. So it is certainly not a destination for everyone.
Thank you BJD for sharing more about your trip. I strongly suspected that one would need to be equipped with some Spanish speaking skills there as it does seem a bit off the beaten path.
I'm glad you were able to take in some museums and such. The pre-Columbian gold made a hefty tour through here in the last few years and I was fascinated by it. I have to say though, the native art a la the wall paintings generate more enthusiasm in me.
And I have to ask one more question...aside from the lovely plastic flowers,was there anything particularly striking that caught your eye in the way of flora? Did you see any of the brugmansia(trumpet flowers)or gingers,bananas?