Zipaquirá and Medellín

Zipaquira with ominous lighting.

We decided to take a day trip to Zipaquirá and check out the salt mine cathedral. Basically it’s a huge halite mine that’s still functioning, but the minors built an underground cathedral depicting the 12 steps Jesus takes during the holy week…or something to that effect. Very religious, but also some cool geology. The rock salt is stronger than pure salt, so there is no need for supporting structures (wood or metal berms), as long as the miners maintain the proper ratio of holes vs. walls.

Larger than life salt miner statue (can't tell the scale, but he's like 15 feet tall).

Mary and Jesus watch over us in Zipaquirá.

It took forever to get to the mines because every time we asked where the cathedral was people directed us to the actual church. Finally we made it to an area with a museum, the cathedral, the largest rock climbing structure in South America (their claim), and other touristy things.  We waited 3o minutes for an English tour, and learned a lot about the mine and Christianity. Interesting stuff, although the guides geology was off. Lucky for him my Spanish is not good enough to explain the difference between salty oceans and the ocean as a source of salt.

Zipaquirá from the Church.

We headed back to Bogotá, and on the bus met a nice guy who spoke English. He shared some of his fruit, which got Marley excited. We tried a Granadilla. It’s kind of like eating a pomegranate, but tastes more like a kiwi/starfruit combo to me.

Granadilla (fruit)

We’re in Medellín right now, about to head out to Manizales. We stayed at Casa Blanca hostel, which is nice and clean and fairly quiet. It’s also pretty close to La Zona Rosa, where there’s a bunch of nightlife.

Hostel Casa Blanca

We went out last night and I had a great Burger topped with refried  beans, ham, lettuce, and other stuff, to which I added guacamole, onions, jalapenos, and potato sticks. Delish…although extremely messy to eat! After, we got drinks at a super tourist bar which had a breathalyzer, to ensure you know how much booze is in your system. We then went to a German bar, which was quieter and more relaxed, before heading back to the hostel for the night.

One thing I’ve noticed is Colombia loves it’s Botero, celebrating him with a free museum in Bogotá (I’ll show pictures later, maybe), and sculpture parks around the country. As we walked around Medellín yesterday I got a great breakfast, and then had fun taking pictures of the sculptures.

Breakfast of champions: hot chocolate and pastel de guayaba.

Colombianos chilling by Botero's Caballo

Botero Sculpture in the park

Our goal is to make it to Manizales tonight, and then to Santa Rosa tomorrow where there are some cascadas and thermal baths. So, hopefully we’ll be relaxing in some hot tubs tomorrow around this time. SPA DAY!

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