Colombia is warm to the heart and in Medellín they just turn up the heat. People are friendly and helping anywhere we stop to orientate ourselves. We arrive early in the morning after a long night ride, take the metro train (1800pesos each ride) and get fast to centre. Medellin is situated in a valley, so to find a cheaper night rest we have to walk up to the mountainside where we find “Arcadia Hostel”, a nice and lively hostel with young ambient and good vibes (16000P each bed).
We even get invited to the theatre show of the girl of the staff. So together we go: 3 other guests, a staff member and the two of us, all dressed with what we can find in our backpacks, to the, what we discovered once there, 30th anniversary of the university Gala main event. We feel weird between all those in smoking dressed gentlemen and feel observed by gorgeous cocktail outfitted Colombian beauties. It is a special evening, first a theatre play, then a philharmonic concert. The play starts late and is, to show some mercy, as good as the ones we are used to in kinder garden only without the teacher standing in front to coordinate the tots. And it takes long, so long that one of our group starts to hand-knit to kill the time. It is so bad that eventually becomes funny and amusing to see adults acting so poorly. We survive the acting and get dragged into ceremonies of awarding ex docents and founders of this educational institution, and this by dictating the laws and statutes of the university on which, no doubts there, they worked so hard. Suddenly two of the group get up and leave. I hesitate a moment but decide, despite the bad looks we get from the rest of the public, to do the same. Giorgia and the rest follow some seconds later, and strange enough, bit by bit, the rest of the chic spectators too. We were the strangers, not dressed for the occasion, introducers in an ambient of class and style and have become their saviours of the boredom and bad taste. We even open the buffet while everybody was looking with big hungry predating eyes but the tie bows and high heels with pedigree are restricting spontaneous behaviours. We are the ‘fantastic six’ sowing freedom among a high class posh gala audience. We chat and have laughs and talk with several “actors”. After all a nice night to remember and to recall from time to time having good laughs.
The next days we really discover this beautiful city with remarkable buildings and enjoyable streets. We meet with Marcos, a travel friend we came across with several times during our trip (León, Lago Atitlán and Bocas Del Toro). With him we discover the different parks with statues and ultra-modern library. Together we visit an art exposition and discuss and interchange points of view about artistic understandings. We feel comfortable experiencing barefoot sensations in ‘Parque de los Pies Descalzos‘.
The 3 of us take the Metrocable (4200 P each) up into the mountains to enjoy a free bike ride in Parque Arví, in an unexpected beautiful natural area high above Medellín. While cycling this park we discover the delicatessen that ‘Arequipe’ is, offered by a very friendly man who explains us everything and let us taste all the varieties. The seller wants to make a promo video and we are well willing to cooperate in order to get a second round of free tasting samples. All 3 help out with a bit of acting and lots of eating and gesticulations of satisfaction.
A bit later we even become brothers in crime when we jump over the fence to enter illegal in a park of which we don’t find the entrance. It’s a day to remember with a walk through the forest, learning about eco-friendly living and jumping small just for kids trampolines… it’s like being at a playground. We even end up as it is to expect… with the security asking for our entrance tickets and the dog barking at us. We talk a bit and he (must be the most friendly guard ever) guides us back through the woods, giving explanations about plants, birds, and archaeological founding in the area, to a hole in the fence so we can be back on our legal track. So after shaking hands and almost exchanging emails and FB we cross the enclosure and take the bus home.
We fall in love with every corner Medellín has, we adore the friendly open mentality of its people and Marcos and me we are missing extra eyes to admire the stunning ethnic and striking stature of its female population, known to be the most beautiful in Colombia and as far as Giorgia and I can have an opinion… the most beautiful we have seen so far.
* Hostal Arcadia is friendly, quite and yet close to the nightlive area of Medellín / Parque Arví is a nice day out but in order to get there you’ll be paying a pricy Metrocable (don’t forget passport to obtain free bikes) / the free tour in Parque de los Descalzos is worth a try with some friends.