Today was the Pentecost bank holiday in Colombia and therefore museums and the like were shut. The cable car was running and seemed like a popular way for the good people of Medellin to spend their day off. The Metrocable opened in 2004 and is integrated into the metro system. You don’t even have to leave the connecting station to reach the cable cars. It was seen as an innovative project towards integrating the less well off neighbourhoods in the hilly areas surrounding the city. The residents here now have convenient and affordable access into the central Medellin. Some of the places don’t look particularly plush but apparently great strides have been made. It was not long ago that these were complete no-go areas with nighttime curfews often imposed to stem crime. I felt fine in getting off at a station to take photos of the valleys below. In many ways the cable cars of La Paz have similarities to here. Both cities are set in valleys with less affluent hillside areas that had previously been almost cut off from the main city infrastructure. Introducing cable cars has been an effective method in both integrating and modernising the cities.
Though primarily a means of mass transportation of the people of Medellin, the Metrocable has also become the top rated TripAdvisor attraction in the city. An additional line has been added to take people over the top of the hill and out a few miles into Park Arvi or El Parque Arvi. The greenery around here is great. It’s hard to comprehend that a few minutes earlier you were in the middle of big city and still on the same public transport system. Plenty of hikers were out on the walking trails, experiencing the renowned Colombian nature. I didn’t go too far into the forest but instead had a walk around some sort of a farmers market. Here I purchased some sort of tropical fruit combo bowl and a coffee, then took a seat of the park lawn. I’ve finally figured out that if you want a coffee with milk in Colombia, don’t order a “cafe con lece.” This may sound daft but you’ll usually end up with a cup of milk with a bit of coffee. Instead ask for a “cafe negro” and after it has been poured, request for a bit of milk! It was nice to get out of the city and it’s great how the cable cars have made the countryside so accessible.
Tonight I finally made it onto the rooftop bar of the hostel. It’s been closed for maintenance during the past couple of days. The sixth floor setting, combined with a location halfway up a hill, make for spectacular nighttime views that even my all singing and dancing camera wasn’t quite able to replicate. I’ll stick with blaming the tools!