One cheap way to see Medellin from above is to take the Metrocable as they call it. It's basically skilifts but in 25 degrees heat. Thought it was a good idea to do the research on the end station since there are some areas in Medellin that isn't optimal to walk around by yourself. After browsing some travel blogs and tripadvisor I decided that the end station Santo Domingo was good enough to get off at and explore a bit as well.
Must say that some of the things I read on tripadvisor about the Metrocable was comical. One person complained that they had to wait a long time because they didn't want to go in to the cart with any locals, someone else complained that it was to busy and to many Colombians, so they felt unsafe. Really don't understand how you can feel unsafe when there are at least police men at each station! Reviews like this makes me somewhat confused on what is wrong with some people, after all the Metrocable is public transport and no tourist attraction.
So after checking out the metro map and doing some research online last night I set out towards Santo Domingo today. To do so I first had to take the normal Metro from Estadio to San Antonio and then change on to another line to finally get to the start of the cable cars. Best thing is that the price for a ticket is only COP 2150 or 60 cent if we are talking Euros. You can actually travel back on the same ticket if you don't exit at the station. With other words; you can travel around the metro all day long if you want to for the price of one ticket, that is if you don't exit at any station! The metro system is very easy to understand and it's so surprisingly clean. Medellin is the only city in Colombia that has a metro system so apparently they all very proud of it. Guess it also helps that there are police and security guards at all stations.
Not sure if I was lucky but when I went today there was no cue to the gondolas what so ever. So just got in to one together with 5 other people. It felt as though I was going skiing but had forgotten my skies ( varför är det att man alltid tänker på Sällskapsresan 2 när man ska in i en lift???) sorry My non-Swedish friends but had to ask my fellow swedes something!! The gondolas sit up to 9 people so with 6 it was a very comfortable ride up the mountain. The ride is approx. 2 km so you have enough time to check out the views. Of course I got my camera out and took a few pics. Do regret that I wasn't quick enough to take pictures on some of the roofs that they had painted in some awesome patterns and some of them had some great drawings on them. Only got one painted roof but that one looks very dull compared to some of the others.
Got to the top in the end where I had planned to go and visit a library, Biblioteca españa. Santo Domingo use to be one of the most dangerous neighborhoods in Latin America as late as the beginning of 2000. You would wonder why the city wanted to build a library in this area but The library was part of an investment in infrastructure in some of the poorer areas in Medellin. You can see the library on the picture to the left above, the buildings are the ones that looks like big black rocks. Of course the library was closed for renovations when I got there but hey what can you do! At least I tried to be a bit cultural... Didn't do much more then walk around and eat some melon when I was up there. Oh yea, got to practice some Spanish as well with some very well behaved teenagers that didn't rob me blind or stab me. They just asked a few questions which I only understood "where are you from?" and "do you want a tour of Santo Domingo?" I did decline the tour Since my Spanish is pretty much non existent still. I did also understand when they asked for money after I declined the tour. They still didn't rob me blind or stab me they just laughed and said thank you!!!
I was the only non-Colombian I saw until it was time to take the gondola back. A big group of pensioners arrived with their tour guide. Me myself would not do the guided tour, rather explore on my own in this situation:) My guess that most tourists don't get off here is that you can take another Metrocable up to a park called parc Arvi (parque Arvi). This is not included in the price so you need to buy a new ticket. Wasn't in mood for nature so skipped this today.
I did also take the Metrocable to La Aurora which is the second line they have on the other side of the city. So bought my ticket and got on the Metro. Travelled all the way to the top, pretty much same views, only difference is that while the Metrocable to Santo Domingo had a steady climb all the way, the one to La Aurora is kind of climbing up and down "smaller" hills wouldn't call them smaller. Since I started to get hungry and tired I decided not to get off at La Aurora. So just stepped out and straight in to a gondola that took me down again. This time I ended up with 6 men in my own age and let's just say that at least one of them would have benefited taking a shower. Ohhhh the smell, so it was a relief getting on the metro taking me home!!!
medellin is by the way the first ever city that has integrated gondolas in their public transport system.
I decided that it was time for a career break. So handed in my notice to the company who I worked with for the last ten years. It's time to pack my bag and depart from Amsterdam which been my home town for the last 4.5 years. -"Amsterdam, it's not you it's me and I need a break!". Read more
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