After almost 2 months in Brazil, it was finally time for us to move on to the next country – Colombia. We originally hadn’t planned on going to Colombia at all, but we had been recommended it by quite a few people – plus it was the cheapest way to get out of Manaus.
After a 2 day boat trip up the Amazon, we arrived in boiling hot Leticia, where we quickly hopped on a plane to the Colombian capital – Bogota. It was absolutely freezing. I arrived in shorts and a strappy top 😦 But, our hostel did have the cutest dogs and lots of warm blankets, so we didn’t mind too much about the temperature.
This is Mocha and she is so cuteeeee! Unfortunately she seemed to love Vicky more than me…
Cerro de Monserrate:
On our first full day in Bogota, we had been recommended by a few people in the hostel to check out Cerro de Monserrate, which was a church on a mountain at 3200m. It was supposed to have great views of the city, and we were lucky as it was a very clear day, so we decided to give it a go.
The only way to get to the top when we went was by the fernicular, a train that looked like it might fall off the mountainside. But we made it up in one piece.
And the views were pretty great of the whole city of Bogota.
And of the mountains on the other side.
Check out that nice grey cloud overhead…. Luckily it stayed clear and sunny for us for the day.
The church itself was really beautiful, but I couldn’t imagine walking up to it every Sunday! Although, the train/cable car is cheaper on Sundays.
There was a room inside covered in plaques that were used to represent those who had made the climb on crutches to be healed by God.
If you ever find yourself in Bogota, it is definitely worth a visit.
The Salt Cathedral:
Day 2 in Bogota and another thing on the checklist was to check out the Salt Cathedral in Zipaquira. To get there it took about 2 hours by bus. Our tour of the Salt Cathedral began going into the mine, the salt on the inside was black from impurities, which you might be able to see in the pictures.
Inside there were 12 crosses all representing the journey of Jesus and his Crucifixion – here’s a few of the best ones.
After the 12 crosses, we walked past a flight of stairs, which if walked up, were used for redemption.
There was also 3 flights of stairs down to the main cathedral. These were used to determine what kind of person you are: pure, almost pure, or evil. We all had to pick a staircase to go down and at the end we would be told which one we were. Annabel and myself came out as almost pure, whereas Vicky – the angel (?) – came out as pure. Only one girl in our group came out as evil!
Finally we made it to the main cathedral.
It was so huge and beautiful, it was amazing to think how far underground we were, and how this had all been made by miners using dynamite to blow holes!
Some of the other cool features included a homage to Michelangelo’s – The Creation of Adam, which included all 4 elements.
A huge salt carving in the wall, which took the artist a year and a half to complete
And a pool, that was so clear that it looked like a mirror, it took us so long to realise that it was actually water.
The picture does not do it justice at all.
Our tour also included a light show and a 3D film with a bit more information of the mine and the background of the area. Definitely worth a visit.
Overall we all really enjoyed Bogota, and actually, we’d heard some rumors it was a bit dodgy, but we didn’t have any problems at all and we felt safe the whole time which was nice.