Medellin, Colombia

They have some great, um, pastries here.

The Road

We’ve hit some bad roads. Namely this one. The road from Cartagena to Medellin is near the top. Countless potholes. Ceaseless construction. Cluttered with semis. All while climbing nearly nearly five thousand feet up a windy, single-lane carretera sin shoulders. My life flashed before my windshield on several occasions. I may have even weed in my trousers at one point.


City planners here are consistent. It seems, based on a somewhat cursory observation, that the exterior of every residential structure must be constructed by at least fifty percent red bricks. It gives the city — the entire metro area really — a warm and uniform look. A sea of red parting green mountains.


We stayed in a suburb for a couple reasons: one, we couldn’t find any camping spots in or near the city, and two, it was the first spot we found on AirBnB (we literally booked it in the van in route).

When we arrived, Sabaneta was having a street fair. I didn’t and don’t like driving our big ol’ North American van through Central and South American cities — the streets are narrow — thus when I saw the thousands of people roaming those narrow streets, I felt a bit like a bull in the streets of Pamplona. Fortunately we didn’t hook anyone.

We eventually — third time was the charm — found a parking lot that could fit our van. Then we scampered, Patagonia backpacks in tow, through the madness to our apartment, a clean, modern two-bedroom in a bricked high-rise that overlooks Sabaneta square and the fair. The kids rode the Ferris wheel, which looked a loose screw or two away from rolling off its axis, the first night.

Portland with Palm Trees

Medellin has a district, Poblado, similar to Portland’s Northwest District (or Alphabet District). Beautiful, old residences intermixed amongst eclectic, modern residences. Ample breweries, restaurants, and bars. Local, boutique shops galore. It’s Portland with palm trees. Or I suppose, since Medellin (1616) was founded long before Portland (1845), Portland is Medellin sans palm trees.

Parque Explora

What the Discovery Center in Boise would be if was exposed to gamma rays (think Hulk). Three floors spread over three city blocks. Even features a playground and an aquarium.

It’s one of the more impressive museums we’ve ever seen — well planned and organized — and the exhibits were muy interesante and informativo. Everett spent an hour or so just constructing (or making inventions, as he calls it) a ball maze from channels, brackets, and levers. Paheli spent almost an hour rock climbing.

A must stop if you’re in Medellin.

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