Several people told me not to go to Colombia, Bogota, concerned for my safety, but I did and glad I did, I found it no less safe than any other city in the world with eight million people; and the people a ting more sparkling, warm and willing to accommodate than a lot of the other South American Countries.Bogota is a cuddled big city in the Andes, with a lot of old traditions, that I like, but some folks are saying, may be gone in the near future; let's hope not, it still has the old charm, even a little rustic look from the colonial times of yesteryear. Having said that, I want to look at a few customs I enjoyed along with a few places I've seen in my short four day visit:.1) The Catedral Sal, an hour's ride outside of Bogota; it has to be considered one of the Contemporary Wonders of the World. A few hundred feet below the ground, the Catedral holds some 8000-people.
It took four years to build, 250-miners, $8-million dollars (one section), for this small country of 40-million, which is probably equal to $80-million in America.2) The Donkey Men of Bogota, whom collect leftovers from cafes and hotels, restaurants, etc., and bring the remains home to feed their pigs.3) The Cow folks of Bogota, whom sell cowhides on the bridges during the working week.4) The Bike-cycle People, that gather up their families along with all sorts of other folks to take advantage of the 'normally' busy streets, on Sundays and holidays, and ride freely without worry of cars hitting their rear-ends (the streets are reserved for those people).
5) The National Museum, with all its pottery and art, especially Botero's collection (of fat people, trees and fruits).6) The white church "Monserrate," on top of the mountain, in which you have to take a cable car to reach. To be honest, I liked the white colonial restaurant, 'Santa Clara,' better; it has a wondrous view of the city.
All in all, I enjoyed the city, the accommodating people, and their warmness to a foreign stranger. My hotel, 'Los Heroes,' was great for a three star hotel; they acted more like a four star to be truthful. I will have a lot of good memories; plus, I got to relax for once.?incidentally, your dollar is about double value, than in the states; or about 1/3 more expensive than Lima, Peru. The condos in the city run about 60% higher than those an hour away from the city, which are about $20,000-dollars.
All in all, still a good deal..See Dennis' web site: http://dennissiluk.tripod.com.
By: Dennis Siluk