Thursday, July 30, 2015

To market we go…..

 

Michael was off today (HOORAY) so we headed to the next place that we both wanted to see….the local market. 

Before our taxi driver could go a single block, we were stopped while a movie was being shot.  One of the crew had on a shirt that said New York Film Academy….don’t know if they had anything to do with it.   In this scene there is a fight and the guy on the left (in tan shirt) gets thrown to the ground……DSC04872

Apparently the stunt was not done exactly right as he was still on the ground when we were allowed to pass with several people standing around him obviously asking if he was ok!!!  

With no further stops, we arrived at the market and started out by looking at the vendors on the outside of the building.   I was flabbergasted by their display techniques and, at the same time, horrified that my bag would knock one of the fruit towers over!!DSC04876

We moved inside the building and were met with row after row of fruits and vegetables….DSC04885

It was interesting watching the vendors as they worked their wares.  This woman was meticulously de-cobbing corn….one kernel at a time!!!!

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Along the sides of the market there were stalls that sold everything from restaurant equipment and supplies…..DSC04907

…..to HUGE bags and bottles of ketchup, mayonnaise and other condiments….DSC04879

….to the always useful “Glue for Mice”….yuck!!….

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We kept hearing cheers through out the market and finally came upon a large group of men watching TV and happily celebrating the Tour De France ride of Colombian rider,  Nairo Quintana!!!….

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Unfortunately he didn’t win the day but it was fun seeing everyone’s excitement.

So, onto the meat section of the market.   You have to love these cow hooves….

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They look like they are lined up to do the Can-Can!!!

This gentleman did not want me taking a photo but I cant imagine why….

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Quite the opposite, this lovely woman allowed us to watch and photograph her as she prepared thin sheets of fat and skin that we assume will be used to make Chicharron. DSC04918

Her two children were in the stall with her and they thought that we were nuts!!!

I loved the diversity of these types of sausages…..

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….and what can I say about these skinned-out pigs…..

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There was almost a uniform that the meat vendors wore, consisting of an apron and rubber boots…..DSC04928Now we moved into an area that sold flower supplies.  This shop sold ribbons, bows and cellophane wrappers for fresh flowers…..

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….and this shop had baskets, flower pots and other wonderful things.   DSC04920

I took this photo before I shopped with the woman in the picture.   She was so sweet and we asked if we could photograph her but she said “No” and that she was “mui feo”, meaning old and ugly!!   We all laughed

We had been told that there was a colossal flower market on the site and we finally found it when we walked outside….. DSC04957

It was filled with all sorts of flowers, but the rose vendors seemed to be the most prevalent.  It was interesting to see how these roses were packaged….DSC04958

It was fun to see people walking around with huge bunches of flowers…..

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….but I especially enjoyed seeing these two little guys….

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There was a fascinating variety of flowers and business was brisk….. DSC04965

I loved this “thistle” looking fower…..DSC04987

We kept hearing people make a shrill whistle and couldn’t figure out what was happening.   Finally, we realized that it was the vendor’s way of saying “get out of my way….I am coming thru”.  We listened more intently from then on.

Also, when big trucks are backing up they don’t beep at you, but instead play a little song.  One of them played “London Bridge is Falling Down” as they backed!!

We had planned to go across the street to another market area but, in the end, we couldn’t figure out where the street was again!!!

Thus began an interesting part of our trip….how do we get out of this maze??? 

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Our comments went something like this….”No, that is the same coffee vendor again”…..”Maybe if we go this way!”... “No, let’s just circle and see what happens”….”We are SOOO lost!”.  But, what a fun place to be lost in!!!

We finally found a way out of the market and into a taxi and enjoyed a ride back to our hotel.  On the way we passed a series of shops that were selling things for funerals….boxes for urns, flowers, monuments etc.   We realized why they were all clumped together when we passed a VERY large cemetery.

We arrived back at our hotel and downloaded our photos from the market…..hmmmm…1-1/2 hours and 157 photos….sounds about right!!

After a brief rest, we headed out to the Old Town again to see a few new sights and for Michael to see the best of what I had already seen.  Keeping with our tradition in foreign countries, we were stopped by a couple and asked for directions!!!   I guess we just look like we know where we are going.  Little do they know!

In particular, Michael wanted to see the Botero museum so that is where we headed first.   Since I now had a photographer with me, I had to get a photo in front of Mona Lisa….

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It is a bit bigger than the one in Paris!!!

We walked passed the Centro Cultural and quickly checked out an exhibit by one of Colombia’s favorite poets.  The presentation was interesting with an industrial feel

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The art was colorful, but not really my style….

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We decided to just walk around some of the government buildings but then saw this sight from a distance….IMG_1071 Naturally, we had to investigate and finally figured out that it was Iglesia Del Carmen.   Unfortunately the church was not open but we enjoyed looking at the outside architecture and I even found some quilt blocks…..IMG_1076

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I have now looked at photos online and seen the interior of this church.   I am very sad that we were not able to see inside it!!

We next ran across the “Museo Arqueologio” and, based on the blurb in the travel guide, almost gave it a miss.  We are so glad that we didn’t pass it up!!!

The initial displays that we saw were not all that impressive although we did enjoy this string instrument…..

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We took a few photos of the outside of the building…..

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However, as we were leaving and thinking that we weren’t impressed, the guard motioned for us to follow him as he unlocked a door and motioned us in.   This section of the exhibit contained some beautiful pottery…..

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This pot with a face on the side reminded me of a character from a Dr. Who show (remember the “Face”?)….

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We couldn’t see any other galleries so we headed out toward the front door.  Once again the guard motioned asking if we had been upstairs yet.  We had seen the stairs with the “Prohobido el paso” sign, and being the rule following people that we are, we had not passed!!!  The guard walked us to the stairs, removed the cord blocking the way and motioned for us to go up…..IMG_1115

We entered a striking gallery that had several things going on at once.   The first was ethnic music being played.  Secondly there were sheer fabric screens between the exhibits with a video being played thru the fabric.  Finally, there were small boxes of pottery with very bright lights shining thru the boxes and displaying shadows on the far walls……

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It was a stunning gallery as it tickled many senses at the same time!!

After leaving we continued down the street and came to a large building with tall ironwork fences going around it.   There was a statue in the middle with a guard in front of it so I walked up to the fence, stuck my hand thru and took a photo…..

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We walked a few more feet and I stepped up on the sidewalk again to take another photo and was approached by a smiling guard who said that we couldn’t walk on the sidewalk.   In thinking about it, I am amazed that they let me go up to take the initial photo.   We finally decided that they must have decided that we were “mostly harmless”!!

Eventually we figured out that we were at the “Capitolio Nacional”….

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….thus the need for additional security from clueless Americans!!!

It was well after 2:00pm and we were both hungry but didn’t want anything big because we were planning to eat a larger dinner, so I suggested that we get an ice cream cone from McDonald’s!!  Now, Michael and I have tried to keep a tradition of NOT going into American food establishments when we are traveling overseas so this caused a bit of consternation.   The decision was made when we realized that we could order from an outside window and not have to go INTO the building…..crisis averted!!!   We got a mixed cone that had vanilla and a light caramel flavored ice cream.   It hit the spot!!!

As we walked back home, we joined throngs of people who were out enjoying their Saturday afternoon.  We wandered up on one gentleman who had a collection of Guinea pigs in the middle of the street.

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At first we thought that they were for sale, but soon realized that they were a betting game.   You would put a coin on top of the “house” that you thought the Guinea Pig would enter and would win if you guessed the right one…..DSC05041

I was mostly amazed that the Guinea Pigs didn’t run away and I wondered how they fared against the dogs that roamed the street!!!

For dinner, we searched for a restaurant and figured out how to get there from our hotel.  Naturally we were lost in about 2 blocks so we decided to just walk past a few and pick one out.   We ended up at “Chichombia” and enjoyed another Bandeja Paisa.   This one not only included Chorizo (sausage) but a Blood Sausage as well.   The flavor of that one was good, but it was dryer and was not a favorite……

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Our waiter did not understand English and we were having a hard time asking for Dessert.  I finally said “chocolate” and he smiled and said “Postre”.  I knew that word from our stint at McDonald’s so we smiled and said “Si”.    He described (in Spanish) a dessert and said that it was very good, so we said to bring one even though we weren’t sure what we were getting.   We should not have worried!!  It was a very moist vanilla cake covered with a creamy caramel sauce….delicious…DSC05048

The night ended with a slow walk back to the hotel, enjoying the sights and sounds of beautiful Bogota!!

1 comment:

Nupur said...

I love going to foreign markets- and this one is a particularly colorful and fun one!

What does it say about me that I'm really loving that giant bag of mayo? I think I'm turning into a Southern girl ;)

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