Day 56: A Fling With The Colombian Capital

Mural art and street signs of Bogota

You can never truly, truly appreciate something until you experience it for yourself. The same truth holds for Bogota. It wasn’t until we arrived in the country’s capital that we began to understand every word in Lonely Planet’s introduction.

Colombia’s capital city will take your breath away – and it’s not just the altitude. Perched like a hawk at 2600m, this stylish, chic, modern and progressive city will calmly stare you down and challenge your prejudices. After years of intelligent investment and a nationwide routing by government forces of the leftist FARC guerillas, Bogota is safer than ever. More than that: it’s effortlessly cool with a young, educated and stylish population that welcomes outsiders with grace and passion… leave your preconceptions at home. Bogota rocks.

Stare down she did, and gracefully indeed. Perceptions and preconceptions of Colombia were long washed away the minute we landed in Cartagena, but the capital reinforced everything we were beginning to learn of the country’s soul. If anything, she has my heart in total captivation and I don’t want to escape. It feels like my first time in Europe all over again – I am recklessly in love.

A city that rivals the beauty of any European capital, Bogota is as innovative as it is progressive. Friday afternoons are known as “Septimazo” where the main streets are closed off to cars and the city comes out to play. I am really tempted to stay for it but we are also equally looking forward to meeting some old friends in Ecuador by the weekend… I don’t think I’m ready to leave Bogota yet, and I’m already missing Colombia – I feel like a sappy broken love ballad that needs to be played on repeat to a bottle of Jack.

The people here have moved me – their genuine kindness, their curiosity and eagerness to know us, their graceful hospitality, their shyness and how they gather up courage to approach and say hello, the beauty in their eyes and their smiles (women in particular!)… This is my new Italy, this is my new Croatia. I am in love, in love, in love with Colombia.

I know there’s still a world out there to be explored. Some things are best left short but sweet, separation makes the appreciation stronger. There will always be a space in my heart for this special place…

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  1. ace says:

    sigh.. u make me fall hard too…

  2. ace says:

    another comment…

    ung goo gooooo!

  3. Rafzana says:

    Wow, you guys have totally changed my view of Colombia. Never imagined it would be so save! The people seem to be incredible! I want to go there too! :-)

  4. Anonymous says:

    Now you know why I love it so! SB

  5. Ken says:

    After reading these few entries, going to Columbia becomes a must for me! Your blog is really inspiring

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