We made it! Post-bus we got the (very clean) metro to Poblado, where we checked into La Playa hostel. From there, we went into the centre of town to get our bearings and visited a couple museums (we’re so cultural). We also got ourselves used to being called ‘Gringos’ on every corner.
The Museo de Antioquia was full of Fernando Botero’s art (the guy who paints fat people), which was very amusing for two immature gringos. Then onto the Memory House Museum. This was really moving and well put together, it’s dedicated to the victims of armed conflict in Colombia over the past few decades…..and there has been a lot of it!
Only a few decades ago Medellin was known as one of the most dangerous places in the world and comuna 13 was the hub of violence and problems within city.
So imagine our surprise when we ventured there on our own, feeling very safe, no tour needed! Comuna 13 is an urban neighbourhood up the west hills of the city that has been reinvented with a huge 384m orange-roofed outdoor escalator!! This has cut the journey time up to the top from 35mins to 6mins! We really enjoyed the visit, the houses were so colourful and there was more cool graffiti.
Since we love a free walking tour, that afternoon we joined our very passionate guide Milo around the city. So much has changed in Colombia in the past 25 years so learning about the history was really interesting. (Ps Emzo is that person who when they say ‘do you have any questions’ asks MANY questions, while I cringe in the corner).
Nightlife is great in Medellin, plus it was Friday night so we went out with friends we met in our hostel (Sam, Luke, Shannon, & Lockie). We tried shots of Aguardiente, the rank sambuca-esque traditional spirit of Colombia (never again!) and ended up in Happy Buddah & Club Mansion.
A new day and a new hangover didn’t stop us hitting up the Botanical Gardens. It was a beautiful day and there were ginormous iguanas and turtles sunbathing everywhere. We loved it. Later, as it was our last night in Medellin, it would have been rude not to go out again…
A breakfast of champions and then a taxi to the airport. As we drove up the windy road out of Medellin our taxi driver enjoyed telling us that he used to have to dodge dead bodies on this ‘fox’s tail’ road during Escobar’s time…k cool thx bye.