My summer vacation is starting in Bogotá, a city I always forget is so amazing until I am here. While my WorldTeach Practicum was completed in Bogotá, I spent most of my time on buses, and one afternoon high on the scenic vista of Monserrate.
On this adventure I chose to stay in La Candelaria at Masaya Hostel, sister hostel to the Santa Marta location. Just like the two cities, the hostels are incomparable, which will be noted in my upcoming HostelWorld review.
After an unimpressive flight with VivaColombia, I arrived in Bogotá in the early afternoon, and headed off to the Museo del Oro. I gladly paid the $3000 COP entry fee, and enjoyed seeing an impressive collection of gold pieces to dazzle even the most materialistic of bling-lovers.
After an hour at the Museo del Oro, I headed over to the Botero Museo, which features an impressive collection by Fernando Botero, as well as select pieces by Joan Miró, Pablo Picasso and Max Beckmann. I was especially attracted to the exquisite display of a Salvador Dali sculpture, housed in a small niche and perfectly lit for such an eerie piece.
I returned to my hostel before nightfall, just in time to pass the Centro Cultral de Gabriel Garcia Marquez, created by the Fondo de Cultura Economica in Mexico and the Spanish Cultural Center, featuring a fantastic bookstore.
The 2nd day in Bogotá was spent entirely dedicated to futbol and friends. Meeting Jordan and Ana early in the day, we headed out to Joshua Café Dubli – that’s right, an Irish bar for the Colombia-Greece game of the 2014 FIFA World Cup.
Surrounded by yellow jerseys and fans fueled on giant pints of lager, we basked in the glory of Colombia playing, and winning, their first World Cup match in 16 years.
Buzzed on the excitement of Colombia’s victory, we stayed to watch Uruguay lose to Costa Rica, before going to El Inglés, a tiny but mighty pub, to watch the Ingleterra-Italy game.
Sadly, England lost in a tight game of 2-1, which was just as well, with the evening giving in to Ley Seca, when the entire country goes dry for the 2014 Presidential Election.
On Sunday, while most of Colombia spent the dry day voting in Manuel Santos for a 2nd term, Jordan and I perused the pedestrian-only streets blocked off for flea markets and vendors.
Coming from sweltering Barranquilla, unprepared for the chill of Bogotá, I picked up a much-needed pair of pants ($10000 COP), a sweater ($10000 COP) and thick colorful bufanda ($12000 COP).
As I plan the afternoon today watching the US-Ghana game with some WorldTeach campeneros, and tomorrow my beloved Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez in the Mexico-Brazil game, I can’t think of a better place to be for the 2014 World Cup than Colombia… except tomorrow my plane leaves for Ecuador.