We arrived safely in Medellin, Columbia and was met promptly by our driver. The difference between Cartagena and Medellin was immediately apparent…the temperature was glorious. We are staying in the El Poblado district and it’s trendy, safe, colorful, and. I really like it.
For our first day we hired a local guide to give us an overview of the city. Jimmy was also prompt and just full of information. It was an interesting tour since we did most of it using the Metro and cable car system. We spent very little time in the car. At one point though the train car was so jammed that it was truly unbelievable…a little scary actually. Even a native of Tokyo would have taken note. At least it wasn’t too terribly hot. That would have made it even more unbearable. I think Amanda is still trembling and no doubt scarred for life.
Medellin is such a feast for the eyes. It’s called the City of Eternal Spring because of its wonderful climate. Even though it’s tropical it has a climate similar to Southern California and that’s an incredible break from steamy Cartagena. It’s also a very “leafy” city and after cocaine, flowers are probably it’s biggest export. I was fascinated by the cable car system, the only one in the world designed specifically for mass transit. It connects the center part of the city with the barios high up on the surrounding mountains making it so much easier for the poor people who live there to commute to jobs. It has dramatically changed their quality of life by turning a 2 hour commute into 20 minutes. It’s also extremely clean and efficient. The views are spectacular.
Today is a free day so that means some unstructured rambling around for me. Amanda probably has a mission, but she’s being a little slow getting to it. Tomorrow we’re off into the Columbian countryside to visit the little town of Santa Fe de Antioquia. I’m looking forward to that.