18.02.2009 10 °C
A few weeks ago, Steph and Aaron decided they were going to make the trek down to Bogota for a little Colombian vay-cay. Marty and I collected them at the airport last Tuesday and pumped them full of water the moment we got home to stave off that nasty altitude sickness. Wednesday morning bright and early we headed off for some delicious Colombian coffee at this cafe Marty had discovered called La Montaña Roja (The Red Mountain) and after multiple coffees each, some delicious Colombian pastries-- the first in a long line of traditional Colombian foods the Smiths would try-- Marty headed off to his last day (thankfully!) at Universidad Libre and Steph, Aaron and I strolled the smoggy mid-town area checking out the adorable puppies at all the pet shops, and snapping oh-so-touristy photos of all the flower arrangements in the flower district called Flores.
We met back up with Marty for a traditional Colombian lunch of the staple: rice, meat, another starch of some kind, veggie of your choice and fresh juice, all of which was delicious and a grand total of $2.00 per person!!! We spent the rest of the afternoon at the Botanical Gardens, sampling the local brews (all slight variatios of Budweiser with much more Colombian names), trying all the local fruit from the local fruit market, "Surtifruver de la Sabana", and then heading out to our favorite funky restaurant called Tienda de Cafe in the Usaquen neighborhood near the university where I teach.
Thursday and Friday were both early days as we headed out to camp and woke up early to herd nearly 80, 4th and 5th graders (and occasionally their teachers) through a couple days of English immersion activities out at Bochica. Steph and Aaron fit right in with Marty and I alongside our Colombian counterparts and despite the mayhem that is Colombian children at camp (or any children really) we had a great time. Not to mention getting to spend time in the cloud forest, who wouldn't love that??!
Finally on Saturday we slept in. Finally. After a traditional Colombian breakfast of eggs, ham, arepas and coffee we headed north out of Bogota through the towns of Chia and into Zipaquira back to the Salt Cathedral. This time we were smart enough to ditch our tour (something about a guide speaking in Spanish through a Play-Skool-like microphone and speaker was just not that exciting).
Saturday night happened to be Valentine´s Day and Marty and I had been dying to try this highly recommended, kinda funky, steakhouse in Chia for a while so we made it our stop on the way back. Funky is an understatement. This place is like, well, if an antique warehouse and Disneyland made a baby and then the devil breathed a little of his fiery gusto on it, you would get Andres Carne de Res. It famous for its meats and we went all out with the sample platters to taste them all. Mojitos were definitely in order (c'mon, they came in carved and painted wooden bowls) and we managed to stuff ourselves full before the boys so gentlemenly picked up the tab.
Sunday was a day to hit up some of the sites within Bogota. Our original plan to hike up Montserrate was pushed aside due to laziness and we voted to take the tram up and walk back down (which Im not sure is all that much easier- thousands of uneven cobblestone steps are not really my idea of a nice walk). A few sore tushes later, we headed into the Candelaria to the Plaza Bolivar, where my phone was promptly stolen- which went unnoticed until hours later. Later that night back in Suba we rounded the corner for the best empanadas in all of Bogota from our local empanadas guy, Samuel!
Monday was Steph and Aaron´s last full day so we made the most of it, filling our backpacks with souveneirs, sipping beers from the Bogota Beer Company, making a stop at the Juan Valdez Cafe for coffee, attempting to go to the closed Gold Museum, hitting up music store row for Marty and Aaron to drool over 200,000 peso guitars (about $1000 USD) before heading off to work. That night we practically liked our plates clean at Crepes and Waffles before finishing off with their delicious ice cream and heading home to wind down and take in the last week.
We are so lucky that Steph and Aaron could come down and are super excited Beth is coming next week! Check out the pictures of the latest tourism coming soon on Shutterfly.