colombian diary - 1st chapter - hip'n'artsy bogotá

¡Hola desde Bogotà, mis amigos! So here we are, happy and safe in Colombia's capital. We? Well, I really, really appreciate it that you spare time to read my sense and nonsense instead of watching cat videos online - or even leave home for a walk. Therefore I will not lie to you - so yes, this time I'm not bye:myself but in company of Mimi who happens to be my daughter. And being my daughter, she's just another free spirit, which means although we are travelling together it's like two people travelling individually; so I'm not really cheating.

Bogotá - what can I say!? I'm still overwhelmed by its charme, by the beauty of many neighborhoods, by the environmental awareness, by the countless delightful little shops and vegetarian and vegan snack bars; and by the arts, the eclectic, outstanding, creative art that can be found everywhere.

A short break at "Nativo Arte Natural" sampling their organic juices. 

We did the standard touristy things, too. We went to the Museo del Banco de Bogotá where not only a vast number of Fernando  Botero's work is on display, but also an excellent choice of international artists and colonial as well as contemporary Colombian art.

Three ladies by national art icon Fernando Botero.

Salvador Dalí: "The basket of bread"

Beatrice González: "Decoración de interiores"

We strolled around the colonial government district, looked in every church and had traditional lunch.

...and numberless school kids strolled, too. This group crossed our way on Plaza Bolívar.

Colombia's national dish: "Bandeja Paisa" - consisting mainly of meat with meat, completed with saussage.

At the Gold Museum we enjoyed the special exhibition on the Kuna Indios' typical craft - the elaborated molas.  The amount and variety of the museum's treasures inspired our souvenir shopping of gold plated replicas.

Pre colombian treasures at the Museo del Oro.

Till this day do the Kuna indios living in Panama at the border to Colombia handcraft their detailed and refined "Molas".

But what really impressed me the most was the people's creativity, the love for designing and decorating using all sort of usual and unusual material, very often recycled in a highly ingenious and innovative way.

Entrance to the Callejon del Embudo grants access to an alley of beauty and awe. 

Bogotá has a very active street art scene of many tremendously talented artists. To get a good insight in the history, development, philosophy, and political background, the free graffity tour is highly recommendable (it's free but of course based on tips). "J", born in Colombia, raised in New York City and Miami, now back to his roots (good for him!), guides tourist groups through the "barrio" and points out every detail in a very knowledgable and passionate way.

Carlos Trilleras: "Aka Wayu"

A more recent mural by Carlos Trilleras.
Mimi with Carlos Trilleras in a shirt made by Carlos Trilleras at Carlos Trilleras' stand #302 at Mercado de Pulgas San Alejos. 

One evening my friend Carolina, a Colombian journalist whom I met during my Italian studies in Milan last year, took us to the very trendy and posh El Salto del Angel restaurant. Besides yummy lulada cocktails and delicious cevice, the most exciting part seemed to be the presence of Carles Puyol. I hope you know who that is, because I didn't (now I've learned that he's a retired soccer player). Retired or not - people paid actually 20,000 pesos (the equivalent of approximately 7$) to get in and get their picture taken with him; and we're talking 'bout grown ups here...
Isn't it cool, when you are genuinely cool instead of playing cool?! Let me tell you, not having a clue who the 'celebrity' is they are making this fuss about, helps a lot!

A large glass of "Lulada", whose name derives from the local Andes fruit lulo, and a wide range of further drink options. 

Talking 'bout cool: I didn't expect Bogotá to be so cool - and I didn't expect Bogotá to be so cold, either. Since I packed for hot South American weather, I had to spend four days now in the same worn and torn pair of jeans and a faded (once dark) blue Old Navy hoodie. Next to all this beautiful, hip youngsters this made me feel like a poor peasant coming to town.

Next time, Bogotá, I promise to dress up for you; you definitely deserve it.

Did I inspire you? Planning on going to Colombia?
Get detailed information on the most interesting destinations that I've travelled bye:myself.


  1. I'm always on the look out for amazing street art and it looks like Bogota has a lot to offer. I can't wait to discover them myself.

  2. Oh Ibrahim, you don't know the half of it - Bogotá is fantastic...and by far not the only place. There was some really good, political stuff in Cali, too. Actually it's practically everywhere; but Bogotá is the Urban Art Mecca! Happy travels!


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