being a tourist in Bogota
12.01.2012 - 16.01.2012 69 °F
On our first day in Bogota Amy had an appointment at the U.S. Embassy to get more pages put in her passport. I always thought filling up your passport was an awesome thing and I was supremely impressed but in fact it cost her eighty dollars for the friendly Embassy workers to simply tape in 24 more pages for customs officials to stamp. Claire took us to the Embassy and showed us around as she had worked there this past summer and was evidently missed. I took a picture of the front gate as we were leaving but the guard politely told me no pictures so I showed him that I had deleted it...Amy reminded me that it probably isn't a good idea to take any pictures of government buildings. I made sure to ask Claire if taking pictures of the residence would be a breach of security but she assured me it was fine.
Amy tells me that Bogota is the museum capital of Latin America and we certainly visited some good ones:
Simon Bolivar's house and gardens. The 'Liberator' of Colombia from the Spanish Empire. He was also instrumental in the independence of Bolivia, Ecuador, Panama, and Venezuela.
The Fernando Botero Museum. He is the most famous contemporary Colombian artist, his work is everywhere. The museum also boasted work from some big names: Picasso, Renoir, Dali, and others.
History of Colombian football exhibit in the National Museum. Andres Escobar scored an own goal while playing the United States in the 1994 World Cup. Colombia went on to lose the game 2 to 1. It is widely believed that he was murdered due to his own goal, which supposedly would have caused gambling losses to several powerful drug lords. Andrés was nicknamed "The Gentleman of Football" and is remembered fondly and mourned by Colombian's to this day.
Museo de Oro (Gold Museum) I have many more pictures from this, tons of shiny artifacts! This was the only museum we went to that had English and Spanish information. Actually that is not true, I saw a few English translation cards for certain exhibits in the National Museum. My Spanish vocabulary is growing everyday and I can understand most simple conversation but I still have a long way to go when it comes to forming my own sentences. As I write this Amy and I are at Organizmo, an amazing place which I will share more of next post. Our fellow WWOOFer here, Mateo (a very generous and funny guy who also finished university last spring), is from Belgium and is studying Spanish across from me. He has been in Colombia for five weeks and speaks quite well enough to get around and converse. My inspiration...though his first language is french which probably helps and he is studying now while I write...