Colombia Photography travel

Walking Medellín

One of the best activities we have found in major cities has been the free walking tours. These companies have natives of the city conduct tours that usually run around 3 – 4 hours. The tours have no up front cost but they make it very clear that if you are happy with the tour be generous with your tips at the end. Every one of these tours we’ve done have been excellent and Real City Walking Tours Medellín was no exception.

Real City Tours
Our guide, Juan, was excellent. He was passionate about his home city and never held back in his opinions of the cities past and its future. I found his commentary very refreshing.

The thing about Colombia in general and Medellín in specific is North Americans automatically link it to the drug trade, Netflix’s “Narcos”, and that “crazy guy” as he was referred to on our tour. This is unfortunate, for everyone. Foreigners miss out on a beautiful diverse destination and locals deal with being associated with something they would like to forget. But even though that whole tragic part of the countries history is over 25 years ago, it is still very fresh in the people’s minds. As we toured about it was addressed and then put aside, where it belongs. In the past.

Parque de la Luz
This is a great example of part of the Transformation that Medellín is working on. This used to be a dangerous park occupied by the worst of the cities society. They installed these columns which light up at night and moved government offices and a library into the buildings around the square. The simple fact of adding light and working people allows one to enjoy the park without undo fear.
Medellín Metro Station
There is a lot of art around the centre of Medellín, however the one thing that is striking, once it is pointed out to you, is the absolute lack of graffiti on the metro stations. In a city of more than 3 million people this is incredibly unique. As it was explained to us, the Metro was, and is, viewed as a great victory for the people of Medellín as it was built  during “The Tragedy” so it is recognized as positive and a sign of renewal. I can attest to the fact that the trains we took were very clean and the system relativity easy to use. It is the only metro train system in Colombia.
Iglesia De La Veracruz
The guide referred to this church as The Church of the Loving Providers for good reason. It was surrounded by several dozen loving providers. The great thing about this tour was it tried to show a balanced view of life in centre Medellín.
Plaza Botero
The artist Fernando Botero is from Medellín, Colombia and they are very proud of that fact. His artwork and sculptures can be found around the country but the largest concentration would be in Plaza Botero in Medellín. They certainly are entertaining pieces to observe.

Even though the weather was overcast and a bit grey this tour was for me a highlight of our time in Medellín. Listening to the stories and history as well as the hope and challenges in the cities future was enlightening and positive. I wish them the best and look forward to returning and seeing how things are going.

Salón Malaga
At the end of the tour we joined some other tour members and enjoyed a beer at this old salsa club. The club itself was fascinating, but the people in it truly set it apart. Lots of elderly folks enjoying some great old music. Loved it.

 

Welcome to our travel blog. Have you ever wondered what it would be like to say, "I'm out of here?" Well we did, and in 2013 we made it a reality. We sold or gave away all of our possessions other than what fit in our luggage and we set off on an endless adventure. Part of our goal is to share our experiences with others and hopefully provide some information, motivation, or just a moments escape. The general idea was to look for a place that would be ideal to settle down in. However in the meantime it is about experiencing life in different countries amongst different cultures and learning how to understand and appreciate each other. A large part of our time is spent housesitting which provides an excellent opportunity to experience more of the "normal" neighbourhoods as opposed to the tourist locales. Though we make sure to enjoy those as well. So through plenty of photographs and a running commentary come and share with us our life on the road.

2 comments on “Walking Medellín

  1. Kevin Palmer

    A great read and photos. Thanks.

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

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