A Travellerspoint blog

February 2015

Colombia at First Glance

rain 19 °C

Having spent a month bathed in the tropical warmth of Cuba and our Cuban friends it was a bit of a shock to land in a cool and rainy Bogota. While it may be 1,500 miles closer to the equator than Havana, at nearly 9,000 feet it is is one of the highest capitals in the world and daytime temperatures rarely rise much above 20 degrees C. However, before we head for the balmy lowlands and sweltering beaches of Colombia, we have a few days to explore this colonial Spanish city. This is the Capitolio – the parliament – in Simon Bolivar Plaza…
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The plaza is surrounded by magnificent buildings reminiscent of those in Spain…
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Including the Presidential Palace…
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And the country’s primary cathedral…
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Bogota has a reputation for being a dangerous city for tourists and when we saw the number of police and soldiers stationed around Simon Bolivar Plaza we were a little concerned. However, when a young cop requested that we should accompany him to the police headquarters we wondered what was going to happen. Fortunately, the old police HQ is now a fascinating museum where James found himself quite at home…
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This is just a sample of the arsenal seized from the notorious drug baron Pablo Escobar when he was finally killed in 1993…
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Colombia’s capital, (including the suburbs), is home to nearly 12 million, and it is in most respects a very modern community with facilities and infrastructures similar to most European capitals. We are hoping to see more of Bogota in the next few days and hope to bring you magnificent views of the city from the surrounding mountains – if only the rain would stop and the clouds would lift. These vicuna would also like the rain to stop so they can go back to giving rides to kids in Bolivar Plaza…
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Posted by Hawkson 17:30 Archived in Colombia Comments (4)

Cuba - Viva

Still life in Cuba

semi-overcast 26 °C

Photogenic images that require little explanation beyond a title are a peso a dozen in Cuba’s enigmatic capital. Here are a just a few…
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Environmentally conscious taxi driver…

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Heavy goods vehicle…

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Local Coffee…

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A shade too much…

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Caribbean colours…

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“My other house is a hacienda!”

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“My other car is a Lamborghini !”

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The little shop on the corner…

The cities of Cuba are not always pretty, but beauty is in the eye of the beholder. And there are surely few sights more universally adored than that of a deserted mangrove-fringed beach where the azure sky melds seamlessly into a cerulean sea under a tropical sun…
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Cayo Jutias - Island Blue.

The Americans are coming and, somewhat bizarrely, a tourist from Chicago explained that he had rushed to Cuba to beat the expected onslaught of his fellow countrymen. He is not the only American hoping to see authentic Cuba before it is blighted by Mr. McDonald and his ilk. However, there are many hurdles to normalization with the States and hopefully it will be many years before there is a Starbucks on every corner.
We will be back before that happens. But now, with our bags packed, we are heading south to summer in the Andes.

Posted by Hawkson 07:10 Archived in Cuba Comments (9)

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