Bogotá: My Biological Home

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My quiet little area in the northern neighborhood of Usaquén was fairly safe. My hostel was up a steep hill and the view from the rood was a stunning spot to watch nighttime storms pass through. Anything could be delivered and there were endless choices of food and drink.

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Traditional Colombian Courtyard.

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Founders Brewing Co. sign (brewing company in my hometown of Grand Rapids, MI) found all the way in Bogotá.
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My classmate and his wife. So thankful for all of the new friends I make when traveling.

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Plaza de Bolívar.
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Catedral primada de Colombia.
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The graffiti, the artistic ability in this city, is stunning.

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It rained every single day I was in Bogotá. It wasn’t always torrential, but it was every day.

I loved La Candelaria. It was a vibrant, young, and energized area of town. Safety is questionable as dark draws near, but I found a place that I would have felt very safe in called The Cranky Croc Hostel. The bonus being that I could have met more people as this was the site of a fantastic tour company called The True Colombian Experience. Great tours for multiples OR singles at very affordable prices. One of the guides also offers affordable tours to places outside of Bogotá called Rolombia Tours. I found this out too late, but when I go back I won’t hesitate to book with both of these guys again.

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This was the view from my Spanish school that I went to every weekday for 4 hours each day. Two weeks of my life in Bogotá revolved around my schedule here and didn’t leave much time for other things. It was good to refresh, but most importantly I made a few really good friends. My favorite part about school was having the opportunity to go to the south side of town, which could take an hour or more depending on weather, and help teach neighborhood kiddos English. There was definitely a language barrier, but we both made each other laugh quite a bit. I was even gifted a bag of fruit one day which made me feel pretty special.

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Traditional Colombian courtyard.
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Santuario Nuestra Señora del Carmen.

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Presidential residence.

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View of the city from Monserrate.

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Cheese goes in the hot chocolate.
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The blood sausage here was the one thing my gag reflex and stomach was not a fan of. One bite. I tried it. No más. The avocados, on the other hand, were large, cheap, and a mouthful of heaven.

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My first fútbol game and it was so.much.fun. Bogotá’s Millonarios won, of course, 5-1.
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Zipaquierá: home of the famous Cathedral de Sal.

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Entrance and exit of the mine.
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Reflecting pool with less than an inch of water that created the illusion you were looking down a level.
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The salt mines that are an underground Roman Catholic Church serve as a pilgrimage spot. This is the main altar in the new cathedral.

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Food was fresh, so tasty, and ridiculously inexpensive. Simplicity tastes good!
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Although a big export in Colombia, honest to God fresh brewed coffee hasn’t really caught on here…until now, and boy is it good. It’s not often that I drink it black, but I did while on my food tour.

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A game of Tejo ended my free tour…summary: you through clay disks at explosives and drink beer, so it’s a lot of fun.

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What do you do when stuck in an UBER a few miles from home and because of torrential rain it takes 2.5 hours instead of 45 minutes to reach your destination??? You play with long exposures and camera movement! Duh!

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For lunch on school days, I got to walk around and order yummies from food carts. This is arroz con leche, a sweet rice pudding with raisins, cheese, condensed milk, and a dash of nutmeg. This large cup of it cost $.98 USD…a total steal!!! Boy do I miss how cheap I could be down there!

It was an absolute dream come true to visit my birth country and city. I hope I get to return many times and maybe even buy a place down there someday ’cause the one thing I’ve learned in two years is that even the biggest of dreams can come true. Dream big and dream often! Check back soon for another BRAND NEW blog post about my time in Quito, Ecuador!!

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