Sunday night/Monday morning, I returned to Los Angeles after spending 10 days Santa Elena, Colombia, a small town in the mountains outside of Medellin. The majority of my trip was dedicated to spiritual development (I haven’t decided if I’ll blog about this yet. I doubt that I will) but I did go into the city for a bit. Here’s a quick run down of all the fun that I had running around Medellin for approximately 6 hours.
At 9AM, a driver picked me up from Santa Elena and drove me into the city. The trip was about 40 minutes. I was dropped at a cute little cafe that was recommended to me by one of the retreat facilitators. I got a yummy little breakfast, started a new book, and bummed their wifi for about two hours.
After googling and getting my game plan in order, I headed over to the metro and took it to the Parque Berrio Metro Station to see the Botero bronze sculptures.
After seeing the sculptures and roaming through the surrounding area, I hopped back on the train to go to the Botanical Garden.
The garden was such a lovely refuge from the chaos of the Latin American city. I leisurely strolled through all of the green things and eventually found a bench. I completed the sudoku puzzle that I had started the night before (it was a tough one!) and took a little time to reflect and breathe. Eventually I made my way along the path and back to the exit.
About a 10 minute walk from the garden was the beautiful Cementerio de San Pedro. I’m generally not drawn to cemeteries but I found this one really moving. It’s aesthetically stunning, full of bright marble and stone all centered around a cathedral in the center. Like the garden, this space was super peaceful and gave me an opportunity to mellow out before going back into the chaos of the city.
After the cemetery, I stopped at a small grocery store to buy some water. I even got to use my (very limited) Spanish skills to converse with the shop owner. Although our conversation was minimal, as my Spanish comprehension skills certainly leave something to be desired, it was super rewarding to be able to communicate a bit. After hydrating, I made my way back to the Metro and back to D’Andre where my car would meet me to go back to Santa Elena.
The only thing that I would have liked to do but didn’t have time for was ride on the cablecars! Medellin has a public transit line that is actually cablecars. Apparently the creation of these lines (there are 3 of them) was critical for linking people who live in the steep hills to the rest of the city and the transit system. Such a cool idea! Riding the cablecars will be the first thing that I do whenever I make it back.
Although I only had a short bout in Medellin, it was glorious. Six hours was actually a perfect amount of time to explore and soak up the feel of the city. Now that I’ve officially been to South America (!), I’m looking forward to exploring more of the continent in the future.