Friday, August 7, 2015

TAXI!!!!

After our quiet Sunday, I was ready to do some sight seeing on Monday so as Michael headed to the University, I caught a taxi to the “downtown” area of Armenia.  I had wanted to do some shopping and the hotel had suggested that the taxi drop me at a “Pedestrian only” street where I could walk and shop.

When the taxi finally stopped, the driver motioned both directions to let me know that I could walk either way.

I started walking to my left, enjoying stopping in various shops along the way.  Eventually I came to Bolivar Plaza….I think that there is one of these in every city in Colombia!!

This square was almost empty except for the mandatory statue of Bolivar….DSC05211

….and a very cool statue on the other end…..DSC05212

There was an attractive, modern Church located on one side of the square…..DSC05213

….so I went in for a look……

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The stained glass was very effect in the interior and made for a pleasing, restful chapel…..DSC05217

Back out on the street, there was a small art exhibit, featuring several fiber art pieces.   They were all behind glass and hard to photograph (I got LOTS of photos of my reflection in the glass), but here is one of them……DSC05220

I was drawn to the designs on the sidewalks as they looked as if they were rippling along…..DSC05210

The effect was quite eerie as I walked along.

I loved this vendor as she drove her “Coffee Taxi”.  There were pump pots of coffee sticking out of all four windows…..

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I continued my stroll looking in various stores that I passed.  There were TONS of shoe stores, specialty clothing stores and one largish department store.  Even though it had a lot of different types of goods, it still seemed that it was fairly specialized.

Naturally I found the “Dollar” store (also known as the 1,000 peso store), and checked out several tourist type stores that mostly sold small kitschy items that had “Colombia” emblazoned across them.  I did come across one tourist store that had some nicer things and enjoyed shopping there.  The store clerk was young and went out of her way to help me.  She kept using her IPhone to translate information for me, including telling me that I could by THREE pairs of earrings for the price of two!!

When the Taxi had dropped me off, I had spied this church in the distance….

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and decided to make the 3 block trek to visit it.   Unfortunately it wasn’t open, but the outside architecture was enjoyable….DSC05229

It was right across the street from a huge park that was covered with lunchtime revelers….DSC05231

I had tried to be very careful to make sure that I knew where I was, but I didn’t walk back the EXACT way that I had come and was soon LOST!!

I walked thru several streets that seemed to be dedicated to one type of store, In the pet store street, I passed one particular shop that had a large cage of birds just inside the door, with a very grumpy looking cat tethered under them!!

I passed an area that catered to artist supplies and saw several craftsmen hard at work in the back of their stores. 

The next block contained home improvement stores with many specializing in just one type of product.   One store sold only crown molding and I admired the ceramic tiles shown in this store front….

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I even passed one woman who had a shirt EXACTLY like one of mine…..DSC05237

By this time I was well and truly lost!!!  I finally stopped and asked an old man and young man who were working in a restaurant and they pointed me in the basic direction.  I finally found my way back to the pedestrian-only street and immediately went in search of an ice cream cone to ease my mind!!

Considering how lost I had gotten just walking 3 blocks to a church, I decided not to chance a 2 mile walk back to the hotel so hailed a taxi instead….my first  solo ride in South America.   I showed the driver the name and address of the hotel and off we went.  Almost immediately we hit a traffic jam so he started making turn after turn and eventually I wasn’t exactly sure WHERE he was taking me!!   I was just about to tell him that I would go ahead and get out, with plans to catch another taxi, but he made one last turn and pulled into the parking lot for the hotel.   I shouldn’t have worried!!!

That evening, Michael and I planned to go to the Mexican Restaurant that we had enjoyed last week, but they were closed, so we went next door to the Sports Bar called “Versus” .   I decided to try something different from last time and ordered a “Tino” which was listed under “Perros”.  Now, perros means dogs in Spanish and we were hoping that these were hot dogs and not the four legged kind.  Never to fear, this delicious meal came out and I dug in…..DSC05295

I kept saying that I couldn’t believe how good the Wiener tasted but then discovered that there were two strips of fried bacon underneath it.  THAT may have attributed to the taste a bit!!!

It was served with a sweet mustard, much like the ones that we had enjoyed in Australia.  Likewise, the Ketchup was tangier than what we were used to but tasted great with the meal!!

Another great day in Armenia!!!

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