I touched down in the United States about 3 o'clock this afternoon, but my least favorite travel-related question came well before that. "What was your favorite part?" In the past three weeks, I've taken ten planes to different areas of Colombia. I've visited Armenia, Medellín, Cartagena, Leticia, and Bogotá. Each place was beautiful in its own way. I couldn't even begin to compare them!
But, if I had to choose (in the sense of "if my life depended on it"), I'd probably say the capital, though not for the reasons one would assume. Lonely Planet describes the city as having "graceful churches, excellent museums, cultural events and a thriving nightlife," in addition to being "dotted with parks and leisure spots." But no, none of those were the highlight for me either. If I had to say what my favorite part was, I'd say Bogotá... because of my family. As I've realized, it's hardly ever the tourist attractions that make the place, but rather the people.
On my second to last night, two cousins took me to Montserrate, a mountain in the center of Bogotá with a 17th century church and an altitude of 10,341 feet.
And the following day, another cousin invited us to her home for lunch. This is the same one with the apartment in Cartagena, so you can only imagine...
We feasted on guanabana juice, cheese arepas, a big bowl of ajiaco (a traditional soup with chicken, potato, corn, capers, and cream), and peaches for dessert.Some may say I look annoyed in this photo, but I was actually very content listening to the post-lunch conversation of so many warm and generous people I'd hardly known before my visit. How special it all was, and how lucky I felt. So much so that I didn't want to come home today. And yet, here I am. At least that means I can belatedly celebrate my 24th birthday with a few friends at a local wine and beer festival? Yes, that... and share the rest of my trip with you :).