Medellín is a popular City in Colombia. It is „famous” as the drug-capital of the world, as well it is known for other negative news like guerrillas and bomb attacks.
But this has changed. Nowadays Medellín is one of the most modern cities in Colombia. But the life in the department of Antioquia is very different to the life which I got to know in other parts of Colombia. The life there is more modern, structured and from my point of view the city seems to be European.
The first white people who came to this region were mainly interested in the goldmines there. After the big boom of Gold, in the end of the 17th century, the region was used for agriculture and Medellin was founded.
The People of Antioquia are called “Paisa” and are very different to the “normal” Colombians. They have a really white skin with black hair. This is because the “Paisa” didn’t intersperse with the Indians and the blacks.
In the mid of December I arrived after travelling 10 hours in the bus in Medellín. From the bus terminal there I took the metro. This is one thing of Medellín which is really modern. They actually do have a metro system. I was impressed. I went south to Itagüí. From there I got into another bus which took me straight to “Caldas” where I found my sleeping place during my stay in Antioquia. Caldas is a really sweet “Pueblito”, which is surrounded by mountains in every possible direction.
The climate in Medellín is great. You feel like in springtime. For that reason Medellín is as well called the city of the everlasting springtime. Caldas were I slept and spend my evening times is not well known, but some outsiders do know that you can buy the best tasting obleas with homemade Arequipe there. Ohh it is delicious indeed!
Medellín I visited in the evening time, so I could see the amazing illuminating which they usually have in the time for Christmas. The botanic garden of Medellín is amazing and unique with its illumination.
There you find other typical Christmas decorations. For examples they like to use butterflies and flowers, all the things which are present during the Christmas period in Colombia. But for me it was really weird because in Germany we have other decoration traditions and of course another climate. Wintertime not the everlasting springtime.
As well the way through the park “Berrio” with its statues of the famous artist “Botero” is impressive.
Then I passed the park “de las Luces”, the park “pies descalsos” and then I walked beside the river of Medellín. Over the river there were many figures which were illuminated. It was fantastic.
But it was weekend time, so everywhere, especially the way beside the river, it was really crowed. Not all the time I could enjoy the impressive illumination because I was worried about my stuff.
At the next day we went to the park “Arvi“ in Santa Elena. The park is situated at an altitude of around 2.500 m. So we had to “climb up” almost 1.000 m. But this we did in the bus. The climate in the park is colder than in the city but this is obvious because you are around 1.000 m more up in the air. It reminded me a bit of the climate in Bogotá but of course the air in the park “Arvi” is much better.
You can reach the park in bus or with the cables. Up we got in bus and the way back we went in the Metro cables.
From these metro cables you can have a good look at the quarter there. The quarter belongs to the poorer people region of Medellín. There are living mainly black people.
After this trip we went to the famous cemetery, which is called “Cementerio de San Pedro”. It is a cemetery which is very different to a German one. A description is difficult to make, but my pictures should be enough to get a good impression. But the atmosphere of a cemetery is still the same, no matter in which country you are.
The last day I got introduced to the child author „Rafael Pombo“ in the „Casa barrientos“ which is a library for children.
Afterwards we went to the modern art museum. Before we went inside we had a look at the park nearby where you can find a skate park, playing ground and a climbing wall for the kids and teenagers. This quarter really seems modern and I like the idea of offering activities to the youth during their free time. As well in this quarter you could find a lot of amazing graffiti.
The art exhibition of Beatriz González in the modern art museum was impressive and moving at the same time. The artist assimilated her experience of the time of guerilla, abduction and politics in her pictures and handwork.
The evening we spent at the station. This sport place is really huge and every kind of sport has its one sport hall. It is really modern and new. The roofs of the sports hall are built in a mountain shape, so it fits into the natural surroundings of Medellín. The city applied for the Olympic games of the youth in 2018. I think it would be great if they receive that honor because they seem to be well prepared.
Some other impression of the city…..