Within the first few weeks of being in Medellin, once I had found a place to live, I had plenty of time to explore the city before starting at my centre. Medellin is a huge city surrounded with numerous mountains and a metro line throughout the centre. It is the second largest city in Colombia and is the capital of the Antioquia state. During the 19th century, Medellín was a dynamic commercial centre, first exporting gold, then producing and exporting coffee. After, it became industrial with the building of the metro line, improved security and education. It is now a very innovative city with a huge increase in tourism.
During the first few days in Medellin, I decided, along with a friend, to do the free walking tour, which was extremely informative, gave me my bearings and showed the main parts of the central city. We explored the historic districts with the local guide telling us stories, explanations and urban legends, letting the city com alive. We were shown traditional parks, squares, streets and learnt about the city’s history, culture and people.
On one of the nice days, I made plan to see different places around Medellin, where I took the metro to Industriales. Here I climbed up Publito Paisa, which is a hill with a tiny village on the top, a museum about the development of Medellin and a magnificent view of the city.
After chilling in an outdoor café with a juice, I walked back down and took the metro to Universidad, where I ordered a typically Colombian lunch of bandeja paisa, which consists of beans, rice, fried egg, plantain, avocado, salad an
d then some sort of meat (obs I get sin carne). Then I walked to the Botanical gardens, where I wandered around admiring the plants, flowers, lakes and trails. It’s a pretty big garden,
where a lot of people just relax, listening to the birds or watching the people.
On another bright day, I took the metro to San Javier, which apparently is a dangerous area but a community nearby has recently improved their surroundings with graffiti called Comuna Trece. Here, there are escalators climbing up the staggered houses and art, all with security guards, with a beautiful view of the city at the top. There are many tours around but I decided to walk it on my own, chatting to some other travellers.
On the way back to the metro, I found a quicker walk, mainly down hill. Next, I jumped aboard the metro cable, which takes one up and down the mountains with incredible landscapes of Medellin. This is definitely my favourite cable car in Medellin.
As I still had a lot of the day free, I missioned it to the other cable car at Acevedo Metro, which is all part of the small price of the metro; 2,000 pesos (60p) to go as far as one want. At the end of the line, you have to change to another metro cable at Santo Domingo, which one pays extra for as it goes towards the cost of maintain. This journey was a lot long than expected, taking around 25 minutes, over high trees and forest, following, to what seemed like no-where. Once I arrived in Parque Arvi, I looked at the map that showed many trains around the park. I took the circular route taking me through woods, and rivers, and main roads, on man-made paths with beautiful plants and flowers. It took around an hours with mostly flat trails. At the end, I treated myself to an ice-cream before heading back to my flat on the cable car.