Quilts and Other Stuff from Frances

Around the streets of Bogota

After we came down off of Mount Monserrate, Juliana suggested that we walk thru the city with the idea of finding someplace to eat lunch around 1:00.  But first, Michael found his favorite type of vendor….espresso…..


We wondered if we could hire this guy to follow us around the city!!!

As we walked, I started trying to get myself acclimated to the streets of Bogota so that I would feel more comfortable when I am by myself tomorrow.  It is actually quite easy as all of the streets are numbered….the ones named Carrera run from North to South and the streets name Calle run from East to West.  SO….if I am looking for Calle 7 #9, I know that it is on Calle 7, between Carerra 9 and Carrera 10!!! 

As we walked, I enjoyed the delightful street art….DSC04666DSC04668DSC04669

DSC04670DSC04674Juliana told me that when Justin Bieber was visiting, he made headlines by painting graffiti and now he is not allowed in Bogota again!!!

In the middle of the street art I found this sign asking that someone “Find me”!!


I hope that he is home by now!!!

We continued looking for a place to eat but many restaurants were closed for the holiday.  We tried to get to one particular restaurant that Juliana knew about but the way was blocked by security forces and we were NOT allowed to pass.  There was a congress of some sort going on in the area and you had to be “on the list” and apparently dressed in a 3-piece suit before you were allowed in!

We finally found one restaurant that had good photos of their food in the windows so we decided to give it a try.  We have recently watched an Anthony Bourdain program on Colombia and he enjoyed a dish called “Bandeja Paisa” and Michael was DETERMINED to try it.  It is a platter consisting of Fijoles (beans), Arroz (Rice), Carne Polida (Ground Beef), Chicarron (Fried Pork Rinds), Chorizo (Sausage), Huevos (Egg), Arepas, Avocado and Fried Plantain.   He loved every  bite….


I had a dish called Sancocho which is a soup that has chicken, potato, Plantain, Yucca and Corn on the Cob.   It is served with a side dish of rice and Avocado.IMG_0622

It was also very tasty, but a little hard to eat as most of the pieces were large and had to be cut up and that is not easy to do in a soup!!!

The restaurant was built on several different levels.  Our table was on the second level but the Banyos (bathrooms) were up another floor.  There were more tables there and another set of stairs that led to a small balcony with two more tables.  Then there was yet another set of stairs leading up at least one more level.  These stairs were blocked off but I would love to know exactly HOW many seating levels they had.  And remember that the kitchen was on the first floor.  I cant imagine being a server and having to climb multiple flights of stairs while balancing a big bowl of soup!!

We passed one statute that I found intriguing.  It is in tribute to Policarpa Salavarrieta (c. 1795 – 14 November 1817), also known as “La Pola,”.  Accoreding to Wikipedia, she  was a  seamstress who spied for the Revolutionary Forces during the Spanish Conquest of New Granada.  She was captured by Spanish and ultimately executed for high treason.  She is now considered a heroine of the independence of Colombia.

This statue depicts her as she is waiting to be executed….IMG_0608

I especially appreciated the hands tied behind her back……


As we walked back to the hotel, we strolled down Carrera 7 which is a pedestrian street with no motorized cars being allowed.  Since today was a holiday, the street was crammed with holiday revelers, most standing in tight circles watching the street performers. 


The sides of the street were covered with vendors selling everything from household supplies….DSC04702

…..to colorful tennis shoes….DSC04690

….to telephone chargers…..


to remedies for everything from varicose veins, to acne…..DSC04715

By the way his remedy is made from snail slime…..


We arrived happily and wearily back at the hotel, very pleased with our first day in Bogota.

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