Medellín – la ciudad moderna

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El Poblado is the modern business quarter of the city with clinker skyscrapers and proper sidewalks. Wandering around at night in the streets, I couId not find any of the typical chariots vending food, only expensive fast food restaurants. My hostel was overcrowded with drunken american backpackers hanging around in the pool. After the first night I decided to move to a more authentic place, to the simple and, despite its location in the red light district, clean and friendly hospedaje La Odéon in the very heart of the city, near Parque Bolívar and just about 10min walk distance from the famous Parque Berrio with the corpulent sculptures of Botero.

Medellín is the only city in Colombia with a metro infrastructure, a rail system of various lines covering the main axes of the city. I used it frequently on the way to the lovely Jardín Botánico, to the Parque Explora, somehow the „Deutsches Museum“ of the country, with a variety of interactive exhibits in natural sciences, and to the Biblioteca España in the quarter Santo Domingo. Formerly, this quarter was a no-go slum with gang warfares and dealers, now it can be visited from the teleférico which connects the metro with the library. When I was there, the library was well-attended by youngsters on the many internet computers and by adults reading worn-out books in the ample reading halls. A successful example of an extraordinary development plan.

One day, I undertook an excursion by bus to the barrage of Guatapé where they produce one third of Colombia´s electricity consumption. The lake can be viewed from the erratic boulder El Peñol, after climbing the 750 steps of the intertwined staircase, whereas the lovely village is known for the zócalos, emblems of casted cement along the houses.