First Impressions: Medellín

Wow… I have so much to say about this city already and I’ve only been here 3 days.  I started out in this hostel that was billed as being super tranquilo with good vibes and this and that.  Though the people were friendly, I wasn’t really feeling it and there was an older Dutch guy who smoked weed all throughout the house.  The neighborhood is pretty far from everything too and the mattresses were like concrete slabs.  I just moved to a nice hostel with only three other guests and nice communal areas.

superman banco colombia medellin

random Superman sculpture outside of the Banco Colombia

So first impressions of the city… it’s big and modern with lots of layers to uncover.  There’s an awesome metro system that runs throughout the city which is easy to navigate.  This city feels like it could be anywhere… except for the Spanish signs, it could easily be in Australia or the US.

The stereotype that Colombian women are beautiful is true.  Here, hardly any women wear flip flops and they are always wearing lots of makeup.  I really stand out as a backpacker when I wear my skirts and flip flops with no makeup.  I’m going to try wearing jeans, close-toed shoes and makeup one day and see if I blend in better.

It’s so nice to feel safe again.  There are sooooo many police in Colombia, I think half the workforce must work for them.  Even though the majority of them look to be about 16.  The people in general seem much more likely to help than anything else.

This is a big city, and I really like living in big cities.  You can just wander around in the mass of people, riding the wave, feeling the pulse.  There are plenty of oddballs in this city, just like any other big place.  Today I saw this guy walking around sniffing some kind of liquid out of a bottle every other in-breath.  Then he went to talk to a young lesbian couple and I’m not sure what went wrong, but one of the girls pulled out her knife and he walked away.  The police saw her and didn’t do much except take her knife away.  They also chased a boy out of the park who looked like he was high on something… he was probably 12 to 14 years old.

There are heaps of parks here too, which I love.  There’s an awesome one with all these huge, fat sculptures.  I haven’t taken any pics of them yet because it’s always so crowded and I feel weird taking photos in a crowd of people outside of a tourist spot.  You can google image it though, it’s worth it:

I thought I was the only vegetarian in Colombia… until I found a Hare Krishna restaurant.  Score!  For those of you who have never eaten food prepared by Hare Krishnas, you should make it a priority.  I swear there’s something about it that alters my mind and makes me want to do good things.  Lol.  It’s also always a good price, and I think if you don’t have any money they’ll still feed you.  Not positive but I think that’s how it works.

That’s it so far… I was thinking I would stay a week here and then head to Bogota and compare/contrast them and then choose one for long term.  However, they have a voluntary-fee only Reiki class coming up here which I don’t want to miss (it’d be a great chance to do my level 2) and I’m spending way more money here than I thought. The longer I stay in one place, the cheaper it becomes, so it might be a good idea for me to stay here awhile.  I have time :)

  • Nancy A
    June 9, 2010

    Wow you have been all around the world its amazing

  • Camilo Buitrago
    June 11, 2010

    Hi, the vegetarian restaurant you mentioned must be Govindas, is a well known place for vegetarians here in Medellin.

    If you want to try another great vegetarian restaurant in Medellin, you can visit Ghee, it is located in San Lucas sector (Poblado).

    The address is Edificio Senior’s Club San Lucas, Carrera 25B No. 18A Sur-46 and phone number 3173177.

  • jasminewanders
    June 12, 2010

    Yeah it was Govindas :) Thanks for the tip! I’ll definitely have to check that place out :D

  • Avani Cimcon
    June 14, 2010

    Yeh really its amazing that you’re traveling the whole world. I appreciate that u’re following your dream.

  • citronella torches
    June 23, 2010

    Funny I found the same, South America was much more expensive that I expected but it is a great place as you’re finding despite it’s troubles – great move is slowing down I’m sure you’ll find bigger benefits than saving a few Peso ;o)

    Have fun,


  • Michael
    June 27, 2010

    I love the photo of super man. I have traveled to Medellín and it is a amazing city. The culture in South America is so much different then here, something everyone should experience.

  • Laura Carter
    June 29, 2010

    wow!!!! that Superman sculpture is really wonderful!!! but, I would like to know the reason for this posture….

  • Alex
    August 18, 2010

    Well the Superman Statue have a reazon. First of all its a combination or inspired by The Thinker by Auguste Rodin, therefore the pose. Its outside a bank, in a park, thinking and protecting your invest.

    Theres a lot of urban – modern art in medellin, and in front of that area ist the MAMM. Museum of Modern Art Medellin. So that zone its full of urban, maybe weird art.

    Its so good you like Medellin, im happy and proud about it, people like you change the bad image of Colombia around the world. You should try also Cartagena, and Santamarta, these are small beach city, you’ll love.

  • T-roy
    September 9, 2010

    Hey if you want some good Hindu food in Medellin, let me know. Found this all vegan place in centro that is super cheap and really good (and sorry but i like to eat meat as well). Think two of us ate for less then $6,000 COP (about $3.00 USD) and i couldn’t finish my plate! jajaja

  • jasminewanders
    September 9, 2010

    was it Govindas?

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