To tell the truth, the afternoon was a rainy blur. I can only tell where we walked by the photos I took. Most of the time I had my head down, raincoat hood on and camera protected under my raincoat. We walked through a rather congested plaza where people were sitting and watching these dancers.
Next, we went past several interesting murals and one that I realized was quite famous as I had seen it in the Colombian travel guide. We stepped inside a small building and were introduced to a gentleman who has a lot to do with promoting the graffiti artists in the area. I didn’t realize it at the time, but this plaza was close to the well-known Calle del Embudo, famous for its graffiti murals.
We continued walking through the rain and headed away from the narrow streets and alleyways toward the city. We came upon this church called, Parish of Our Lady of the Waters.
We passed by a bakery and I had the opportunity to take photos of the Arepas in the window. Just a few words about Arepas. Arepas, basically corn cakes, originated hundreds of years ago and was a staple in the diet of various indigenous tribes across what is now Colombia and Venezuela. They are eaten across various socio-economic groups, at all times of the day. We saw them mostly at breakfast. They can also be filled with cheese, avocado, and meat. Unfortunately, the ones I tried at breakfast were somewhat hard and bland. I also saw them at the market place and discovered that there are many different varieties.
The bronze statue honors Colombian heroine, Policarpa Salavarrieta. She was a young girl who served as a spy for the patriot troops against the Spanish during the 1829’s. She was sentenced to death by the royal troops. Bavaria Brewing created a beer in her honor, La Pola.
Towering high over La Candelaria neighborhood, The National Shrine of Our Lady of Carmen, can be easily recognized by its distinctive red and white facade. It was built in the Florentine Gothic Style and known for its Byzantine and Moorish touches. We saw it from the outside but were disappointed that we didn’t get to look inside. The church, designed by Giovanni Buscaglione, was constructed in 1926 and completed 12 years later.
The rain finally tapered off in the late afternoon and we ended up at last at the Artists Craft store. There were lots of interesting artistic crafts and we enjoyed browsing and buying. We were close to the President’s Palace (Palace of Narino) so we walked over to take a closer look. The guards were very friendly and as you can see, I had my picture taken with them and then took pictures of them and got their email to send them their photos. This is the official home and workplace of the President of Colombia. It was constructed in 1908.
We were close to a local market and decided to see if it was still open, but unfortunately, it was closed. It was getting dark and we ended up with a quick walk through the Bolivar Plaza which is the main square in Bogota and is located in the heart of the historical area. It contains a statue of Simon Bolivar which was the first public monument in the city. I am sorry we didn’t get to see it during the daytime as it is very famous and its history dates back to Pre-Colombian times.
The rain put a damper on our tour and although we had a schedule made up in advance, it wasn’t adhered to by our tour guides, consequently, we had quite a few places to visit and check out the following day. In spite of the weather, we saw a lot of interesting graffiti and fascinating architecture, bought some artistic treasures and had a spectacular lunch.