I didn’t fancy going on a favela tour or paint balling in Pablo Escobar’s old mansion, two of the more popular traveller activities to do in Medellin (and I’m not even joking). Instead I had a fairly leisurely day out and about the city.
The botanical gardens are a perfectly pleasant place to stroll around for an hour or so. Across the street is Parque Explora science museum. After Phoenix I’ve learned my lesson about not bothering to visit such places during weekday mornings due to the likelihood of it being overrun with screaming children.
After yesterday’s walking tour I had a bit more of an idea about navigating central Medellin. This area appeared to be fairly safe during the daytime but I also got the impression that you could easily wander into rougher areas. Someone at the hostel told me that they attempted to walk from the botanical gardens to Botero Square. On the map this seems like a fairly straightforward walk. However this involved walking through not the best area. There weren’t many people around and those that were, looked somewhat shady, albeit nothing happened.
Among its rough and ready looking buildings, Medellin has architectural gems aplenty. The old Estacion and Secretaria de Educacion are especially nice. Parque de Berrio was a hive of activity with youngsters hanging out, older people watching the world go by and a few odd/colourful/eccentric characters. Most cities seem to have a person dancing alone in broad daylight and today it was here!
Medellin is up there with any city I’ve visited in South America and it was great to have had the chance to return to Colombia. It was almost worth having one less day in Easter Island, in return for the flight vouchers that got me here. I know that this is supposed to be an intellectual blog but to paraphrase David Essex, every cloud has a silver lining!