Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Bogota is hard to place

Bogota, at 8,650 feet above sea level, poses no altitude problem for us having acclimatized in Tunja (9200 ft), but we were not expecting so much somber weather. In three days we had less than three hours of sun, many hours of overcast and rain, but we were never cold.

Old city center.

Plaza Bolivar.

Traffic: Rain keeps the pollution down. There is a LOT of vehicle traffic, even though private cars have been severely limited. Being the big fans of public transportation, John and I are totally enamored with the TransMilenio. This is only solution that we have ever experienced that is conceivable for Shanghai as well as Raleigh, and of course anywhere in between. Yet every now and then there would be a horse drawn cart going down the road.

"TransMilenio Only" road near our hotel

Carrera 7 traffic

Police: The city applies so much police presence on the street, there is rarely a moment that I don't spot a uniform around. Yet after rush hour, pedestrians evaporate from the streets with astounding rate for a city of 8 million.

People: For such a big city, people are amazingly friendly. Everyone goes out of their way to not interfering with photo taking, but if the two of us ever started to argue about directions, we are sure to draw a crowd of helpers. When we turned up at the National Library wanting to look at the atrium, the Library called in its English-speaking historian for a private tour.

Atrium of the National Library

For a capital I had expected the number of the museums, but the quality of the exhibits really impressed me. What is more surprising is the dizzying number of free museums. Yet they could not managed to turn up a "changing of the guards" on schedule.

Museo Botero

Eateries: The good thing is that lunches are very much on time. Bogota has more vegetarian restaurants than we have days to sample. In fact I am beginning to suspect Bogota has more restaurants and cafes per capita than Shanghai. Yet there are just as many street vendors with homemade or packaged food and drinks.

Zukini Vegetarian Restaurant.


Susan in Florida said...

"TransMilenio Only" road near our hotel<=very nice and clean looking street.
I have been wondering about the food with Sun Ling being such a GREAT cook who likes to cook and likes to eat healthy.
Earl just told me that he thinks your blog makes traveling look easy. He is worried about your safety and worries if too many days go by without a post.
I almost feel that I'm traveling with y'all. I love the narratives and the photos...they give me a feeling of being there. I'm wondering if we're going to Ecuador.

Fast Eddy said...

TransMilenio (I read your link) is amazing. I say this based on how fast it was brought into operation after its start. NB "users of TransMilenio must be aware that when riding the system they are exposed to pickpockets."

Anonymous said...

just three weeks ago while i was still in shanghai, we received a wedding invitation for the october 9th weekend in Columbia. would be so much fun if we'd been informed months ahead and arranged to meet up with you at a Columbian wedding. Ah!
-- joel & weiqing

Susan in Florida said...

It's been six days since your last post. Are you still in Columbia? No wifi in the new city?

Sun-Ling said...

We are in Popayan with wifi in the room. We will do some catching up on blog.

Sun-Ling said...

WQ & Joel, what a shame the wedding invitation came so late!!! It would have been so cool.... Already, John would be going around exclaiming every now and then -- Joel & WQ should come here!