…was un unfortunately not what I was expecting. From being one of the world most dangerous cities due to Escobar and his drug emperium, nowadays Medellin was supposed to be a trendy and modern city. From what I read on the internet beforehand I imagined something similar to Barcelona.
A bad start
I reserved in the Panela hostel, about 30 minutes by foot from the airport. That was what I thought. When I was asking for calle 10 which should bring me more or less directely to el Poblado, the neighbourhood my hostel was located in, they told me that this is in Medellin. That I actually arrived in an other airport an hour away from the city. But no problem, over there is the busstop. Yeay, no problem. Never. So I took a bus which left me an hour later in San Diego district. From there I walked – another hour. What I saw on the way wasn´t nice at all. Similar architecture as in Bogota but more traffic and not that nice… I didn´t liked my first impression but this could have also been due to being hungry and tired. But unfortunately it wasn´t.
City center and botanic garden
One day I went by metro to the university station and visited from there the botanical garden. It has free entry and is pretty nice. A quite and green place with not so much flowers but plenty of beautiful birds shinning in green, red or blue. The same with butterflies if you sit still and watch carefully. I had a nice time and walked from there to la Candelaria. I didn´t felt unsave but saw a lot of drug addicts and people sleeping on the street – one after another. The centre itself was noisy, loud, crowed and full of bad quality shops with some churches here and there. Nothing special at all. I walked around for about 6 hours and then gave up. I didn´t found a specially nice place. I entered some markets, looked for some parks and went to some of the shops but nothing worth coming to Medellin. Which is quite sad… I would love to write more nice things but I didn´t found them.
My district is a touristic one, with lots of bars and clubs but as I didn´t went out during the night I can´t tell how it is. Looks like a zone just for tourists… Houses look nice and colorful but my hostal was quite old and ugly. The only great thing was that it had a vegan restaurant just in front where I happily got some tasty and healthy food (Dharma – Vegan restaurant and cafe, steet 43b).
Piedra el Pinon and Guatape
Luckily I found some nice company and joined some girls on a trip to Guatape on my birthday. We left around 8am and it takes around 3 hours to go there. Totally wort the trip! It was one of the most beautiful landscapes I saw so far on my trip!
If you are staying in el Poblado take the metro to the caribe station. After 2 minutes walk you will be at the northern bus station where buses leave every 15 minuts to Guatape. We first climed up to the big stone. About 700 steps. Quite exhausting (and having in mind I´m still sick) but the view was amazing. We oversee the big lake and after a while rain stopped and we even got some sunshine. I believe the pictures talk for themselves.
After the stone we went to town and had lunch. Guatape is beautiful, every house is so nicely decorated. It was fortunatley a nice escape from Medellin. Also the way back, already in the dark, was pretty nice. Once you get closer to Medellin you see all the lights, the mountains seem to shine, like sparkeling diamonts which probably are some of the favelas. So beautiful by night!
As I didn´t expect the airport be so far away I booked a flight for 7am. Which ment that in the end I had to get up at 4am to be there on time. The taxi preordered a taxi for 4h30 which was supposed to bring me to the bus stop in San Diego. I asked them several times if they are trust worthy as I didn´t have any money on my mobile and they confirmed. I slept badly and was waiting for the taxi in the morning – it never came. So in the end I had to look for one in the street. Not so nice having in mind that it was Saturday and all the drunk people were still hanging around the streets. In the end I made it savely to the airport but thhis is one of the places I really don´t need to go back to.