Two Months
in Colombia

Pasto Popayan Cali Coffee Region Coming - Medellin


January 14 - 28, 2016

Most of Carmenza's family is in Cali so we spent two weeks there. A lot of time was spent visiting with her very hospitable family. It was great getting a real inside look at Colombia. We also got to see most of the tourist attactions in the Cali area.

Cable Cars on the Metro

January 18, 2016

For many years Medellin has been known for having several cable car lines attached to its metro train system. Cali doesn't have a train. It has a rapid bus transit type metro system, i.e. special buses run in dedicated lanes. But in 2015 it added its first cable car line to the system. These are the best way to get decent public transportation up into the slums on the steep mountainsides. The bottom end of Cali's cable car system is across the street from the upscale Cosmi Centro shopping mall. Then there are three stops in the mountans.

For the price of a single ticket - about 60 cents U.S. - we took a ride to the final station and back. Along the way we got off at each station platform to take pictures before getting back on. We did not leave the stations, however. That's not a good idea as the surrounding neighborhoods are not safe.

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Downtown Cali

January 19, 2016

Downtown Cali is a mix of old and new.

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The Merced Church is one of the oldest in Cali. The adjoining parts of the complex have been turned into a museum.

About two blocks away is the Museo de Oro - Gold Museum. It has a small collection of gold artifacts that have been dug up in the region. The Museo de Oro in Bogota is many times bigger.

This ant sculpture was across the street from the Museo de Oro.

At the Parque de los Poetas you can chat with a poet ...

... or if you have some forms that need filled in there are several stands where you can pay someone with a typewriter to do that for you. These have been here for many decades.

This once was the headquarters of the Colombian Tobacco Company. It's one of the more impressive 19th century buildings in central Cali.

Along the river.

Carmenza getting a cholado. These are -- no hype -- true artisan snow cones. Freshly grated ice is layered with colored sugar syrup, sweetened-condensed milk, and fresh squeezed lime juice. It's impressive to watch them being made. Final price ... about 65 cents U.S.

Cat statues are the thing in Cali. There are several dozen downtown along the river.

A Trip up the Mountain

January 20, 2016

One of Cali's most famous landmarks is the statue of Cristo Rey high up on a mountain overlooking the city. It's just slightly smaller than the more famous one in Rio de Janeiro. We hired a car and driver and did a day trip up the mountain.

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One the way up we stopped at a little park named for Sebastian de Belalcazar, the Spanish conquistador founder of Cali and Popayan.

The park overlooks the nearby downtown.

This cute church is behind the Belalcazar statue.

A rural soccer field.

The Cristo Rey overlooking Cali. Unfortunately it was a very hazy day so we didn't have good views of the valley below.

On the mountain behind Cristo Rey (and not visible from the city) is this statue of the Virgin Mary.

We had to walk the last fifteen minutes up to the Virgin Mary statue.

Some years ago an artist made a series of carvings on the road to the Cristo Rey.

The Cali Zoo

January 21, 2016

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January 24, 2016

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How the juice was squeezed from the cane in early times.

The juice would be boiled down until thick and then poured into molds to make blocks of brown sugar.

Later water power was used to squeeze out the juice.

And the boiling process was more organized.

Smaller farms would use hand cranks like this one.

Made in Ohio.

Long ago owners.

Long ago workers.

The Museo Aereo Fenix

January 24, 2016

On the way to the Sugar Museum we visited the Museo Aereo Fenix. Housed in an old hanger at Cali Airport, this is a private volunteer-run museum that started out as a museum dedicated to old airplanes but then branched out to other types of transportation. It's eclectic and not all that organized. But it's a fascinating place. And there is a lot more than I show in these few photos.

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They have several display cases of scale models of airplanes belonging to a couple hundred airlines.

The museum has what is believed to be the world's largest collection of airline silverware. The display cases here aren't even five percent of the entire collection.

Where else can you see cutlery from Royal Brunei airlines?

Wooden ware from United Airlines!

There is a huge model train. This is only about a fourth of it.

A very old Mack truck.

Notice the drive on this.


A few other pictures from here and there.

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Shopping centers are open-air. This is part of the Palmetto Mall.

Food court at the Palmetto Mall.

Another view of the Palmetto Mall.

The UniCentro is one of the most upscale malls.

This guy in Buga makes money renting out pieces of cardboard to keep motorcycle seats cool.

The countryside outside of Cali is a lot like Iowa ... except that's sugar cane instead of corn.

Intersting statue in a roundabout.

Famous basilica in Buga, north of Cali.


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