here is the second installment of pictures from my trip to bogota, colombia. it was such a good trip that it's inspired me to go back to south america - a very underrated continent for travel. watch out brazil!
most of these pictures center on the older parts of bogota: the historic central area 'la candelaria', but there are plenty of other districts thrown in.
this is the avenida jimenez and the transmilenio - the rapid bus line that has been an iconic fixture of bogota for the past few years.
a few blocks south of av. jimenez is the main square in bogota, plaza bolivar. all of the seats of government are located around this. not sure of the name of the church, but it was elegant in that hauntingly colonial sort of way.
this is the namesake of the plaza - simon bolivar. the schoolgirls pictured were singing some kind of chant about him, probably something they learned in school.
this is the beginning of la candelaria, the oldest part of bogota. this is probably what you were expecting things to look like. a thunderstorm against the mountains made for a particularly ominous but beautiful landscape.
deeper into the narrow streets of la candelaria...
the fellow in the red uniform is a garbageman. the garbage trucks in bogota play "home on the range", "american patrol", and a bunch of other zany songs similar to the ice cream trucks in suburban america. loads of old people came out to toss their garbage, so apparently it works.
i forget the name of this plaza, but it was one of the most amazing spots in the city. i believe it was plaza de concordia. anyway, it had an old lady who ran a public toilet and she'd wash the seat for you beforehand (weird!), lots of skinheads and drug dealers, college students, and a bar called "the Annie Hall bar" (I wonder if diane keaton or woody allen knows about this).
some 'skinhead' came up to us and asked if i was irish. i lied and said, 'yes', and he went on about how his ancestors were irish and then spouted a bunch of random words like 'fascismo!' and 'guerra!'
this is back closer to the commercial center. this building, whose name i forgot, is supposed to be a masterpiece of early postwar architecture.
back to the north side of town... it's christmastime already at the shopping mall 'andino'
the next several shots are from my hotel room at the hotel cosmos 100, on calle cien (100). this hotel is a faded gem par excellence, it was where all the narco-terrorists used to stay on business in the 80's.
back downtown again...
this is a side of bogota you might have not seen before (of course, you might have not seen any of bogota before.) the south side is almost uniformly poor, and ranges from shabby older buildings to newly-built slums. we met some friends along our journeys and they insisted on taking us to their house - this is their neighborhood.
hasta luego from bogota, colombia. it was a fantastic place to visit and i highly recommend it, especially if you want to go to a bustling metropolis where english is simply not spoken and tourists are as rare as hen's teeth. coming soon i'll post the pictures of carribean colombia (cartagena, santa marta, and a little bit of shakiraville / barranquilla.)