We had breakfast at the hostel. For 4,000 pesos ($1.80 CAD) you get coffee or hot chocolate, a little bowl of fruit, two eggs, bread, butter, and jam. For 1,000 pesos ($0.45 CAD) more, we substitute a corn arepa for the bread.
We left the hostel around 10:00am yesterday with a list of nearby places that we wanted to visit.
The La Candelaria neighborhood where we are staying.
Neat looking church. Hard to get the whole thing into a photo!
We wandered back down to Simon Bolivar Plaza on our way towards Bogota's famous Museo del Oro (Gold Museum). Lots of people out and about and feeding the pigeons. You can see that it was a cloudy day, and we did get a couple of rain drops, but it cleared a bit in the afternoon. Daytime high temperature is about 20C (68F) which we are finding very comfortable!
The Palace of Justice building (1989).
The Bogota Cathedral (1823).
This guy was begging outside the door of the cathedral. We saw several people give him money in the short time we watched. I bet he does okay!
Big Christmas decoration in the square.
On our way towards the gold museum, we noticed these Colombian military guys on the street, and then a sign for the Colombia Military Museum. At the entrance, it said that admission was free, so we figured we may as well have a look. Glad we did, as it was quite interesting.
I asked these two if I could take their photo. They straightened right up with military precision!
Colombia Military Museum.
The Korea Room.
Interesting that Colombia was part of the U.N. effort in South Korea. The country sent more than 4,000 men to fight in South Korea between 1951 and 1954. 141 of them never returned home.
Wouldn't want this guy's job clearing land mines.
Colombia is one of the heaviest land mined countries in the world. There have been 208 land mine victims in 2015 alone, and clearing efforts are ongoing.
One of the display rooms.
Kevin, and one of the decommissioned choppers.
Back on the street. Who needs a storefront?? This guy sells Herpos (a type of cracker/cookie) for 1,000 pesos ($0.45 CAD).
We made it to the Fernando Botero Museum, but it is closed on Tuesdays! Oh well...we will go back there today now that we've decided to stay in Bogota a couple more days. Across the street from the Botero Museum is the big public library. We went in there to go to the fifth floor to get a view of downtown.
We entered Bogota's Museo del Oro at 12:45pm. The world famous Gold Museum in Bogota.
The Bogota Gold Museum contains over 55,000 pieces of pre-Colombia gold artifacts...the largest collection in the world. There are only 6,000 of those pieces on display at any given time.
It costs only 3,000 pesos ($1.35 CAD) to enter the museum, and it is totally free on Sundays.
Of course there are far too many pictures to show them all to you, but on the assumption that most of you will never make it here in person, we've picked out some of the more interesting ones to show you...
This gold helmet was made around 2,500 years ago. The placard said that it would have taken a great amount of skill to hammer out this design using the rudimentary tools available back then.
This one is about 4" tall.
About 3" tall. The detail is absolutely amazing.
Yep, its a busy place...and rightly so! You don't come to Bogota and not visit the gold museum.
An ear ring.
This guy is missing some parts.
Two identical nose rings.
If you click on the photos, it makes them full size on you computer screen. Check out the detail in these figures, about 2" tall.
A funeral mask.
I'm not sure of the purpose of these pins, but they are between 6" and 8" long. The figures at the top of each pin are only about an inch tall!
Again, the detail is amazing. Is the one on the right a martian? We think so...
This piece is called "The Muisca Raft".
The Muisca Raft measures about 8" by 4". It was found by three farmers in a cave in 1969. It contains about 8 ounces of pure gold...worth about $9,600 in gold content alone...but obviously priceless. They think it was made somewhere around 600 AD.
We spent just over two hours in the gold museum. Really well done, and certainly worth a visit in our opinion.
We had a nice early dinner at a restaurant that serves traditional Colombian food.
We each had a huge bowl of Ajiaco...a chicken soup/stew with a side of rice and avocado. Really filling meal. Perhaps a little overpriced at 18,000 pesos ($8.10 CAD), but it was a good meal and we were in the tourist area. Total bill was 45,000 pesos ($20.25 CAD) including a beer and a glass of wine. Even an expensive meal is cheap!
Not sure what's on the agenda for today, but we are going to the Fernando Botero Museum for sure. Tomorrow, we'd like to do a day trip to a waterfall that includes about a 2 hour hike so we'll see if the skin on my ankles has healed enough by then. Yes, the medication is working...the itching is pretty much gone and the skin is looking much better. It's going to take a week or two to heal completely I'm sure, but it's the best I've felt in over two weeks...things are looking up!
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