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joe_schmidt Medellin - A travel report by Joachim
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Medellin,  Colombia - flag Colombia -  Antioquia
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joe_schmidt's travel reports

Medellín - Town of never ending spring time

  14 votes
Medellín, the town of never ending spring time, is the capital of the province Antioquia. Here merge modern life and traditional culture.

Street Art in the center of Medellín between library and train station.
Street Art in the center of Medellín between library and train station.
Medellin is a town full of life. As it is the capital of Antioquia it is the busiest place in this province. It is the center of fabric production of Colombia. Therefore you find a whole sector of cloth outlets where you can buy clothes of good quality for a very reasonnable price. In this quarter you can also find a very modern shopping house with many little boutiques which is more fun to visit than the usual big shopping centers.
The town hosts the Colombiamoda and Colombiatex fairs. Sometimes they are mentioned in international newspapers as I read over it in a german one.
Another big thing is, that the people here are exceptionally friendly, which is common for Antioquia. Such, the town differentiates itself considerably from Bogotá, where there is rush hour all day long.
If you plan a visit on the pacific coast of Colombia you will find the offices of the lodges here in Medellin. Also nearly all flights to the coast are routed over the old airport of Medellin, placed close to the center of the town. The international airport is a 45 minutes taxi ride outside of the town. Going there I passed a very pleasant and green alpine landscape.
Medellín offers a marathon run every September with international athlets.

Favourite spots:
Metrocable, forms a very efficient public transport system together with the Metro de Medellín
Metrocable, forms a very efficient public transport system together with the Metro de Medellín
In the middle of the town there is the 80m high Cerro Nitribara. On its top you will find a little rural town called Pueblito Paisa. This is a (touristic) representation of a rural town in the beginning of the 20th century. If you don't mind the commercial aspect it is worth a visit. Also you have a great view over the town.
Medellín has a very efficient public transport system with a Metro (Metro de Medellín), established in the mid 90ies (a german model). Directly connected there is a cable car (Metrocable) like in the Alps (a french model), going up the hill to the quarter of Santo Domingo at the poor end of the town. Nowadays, after having built the cable car, it is also safe for tourists to go up and walk down by day. There is a tour you can book going along the Metro and Metrocable for a sight-seeing tour to the most interesting places of the town (which I currently have on my plan for the next visit).

What's really great:
Desfile de Silleteros
Desfile de Silleteros
The best thing I saw in Medellin was the parade of the flower producers, called Desfile de Silleteros. 2007 was the 50th anniversary of the parade with more than 400 people showing these amazing bouquets of pure color. The big ones weigh up to 70kg, they say. This parade can be seen on the last day of the annual flower fair which takes place in July/August.
It is a must to visit the flower exhibition in the botanical garden! In this exhibition the winners of the flower orchid contest are named and shown. I took about 200 fotos of each of those two flower events and can't get tired of watching them (which is unusual fo me). To this event belongs a parade of old cars and the parade of all the horses of the region, called the cabalgata. The latter one is more like a fiesta for the local people.

Pueblito Paisa on top of the small hill Cerro Nitribara
Pueblito Paisa on top of the small hill Cerro Nitribara
Medellin offers some very high level hotels additionally to the normal ones. We booked very late and found only one room left in the Hotel Dann Carlton Belfort which is a house of the Dann Carlton group with excellent first class service. For two nights it was affordable to us. Don't book too late because the town is really full everytime there is a fair. One year before we had the same problem because there was a biker parade and the town was full of bikes from everywhere in South America.

Extraordinary commercial of a steak house during the cabalgata
Extraordinary commercial of a steak house during the cabalgata
Medellin has many discoteques to go to at night. Many local and international restaurants of good quality can be found in the quarter El Parque LLeras. There the town looks like a nice smalltown. One can also choose between 11 theatres and 10 cinemas.

Other recommendations:
The library of Medellin
The library of Medellin
- Teatro Pablo Tobón Uribe
- Teatro Metropolitano de Medellín
- Plaza Botero
- Parque de los Pies Descalzos
- Palacio de la Cultura Rafael Uribe Uribe
- Casa Los Barrientos
- Palacio de Bellas Artes
- Paraninfo de la Universidad de Antioquia
- Jardín Botánico Joaquín Antonio Uribe

Published on Wednesday October 10th, 2007

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Fri, Oct 26 2007 - 10:01 AM rating by wojtekd

Nice report. But how about street safety? Colombia has not the best reputation. I have some bad experiences from Bogota...

Fri, Oct 26 2007 - 04:42 AM rating by barcelona

Very good report. I like the commercial in the cabalgata. (But do not tell my wife!)

Fri, Oct 19 2007 - 12:20 PM rating by marianne

This is completely different view of the city than usually given. I tend to believe you rather than other sources. Because once a city has a bad reputation everyone writes the same about it.

Mon, Oct 15 2007 - 05:57 AM rating by bineba

Great report. Still working on my plans to visit Central and South America one day and if Colombia wasn't part of it before, you've changed my mind.

Thu, Oct 11 2007 - 02:42 AM rating by louis

Joahim, excellent report, it has changed completly my opinion about this city. Also yours pictures shows that Colombia is an interest place to visit. Makes me want to go there. But more informations would be appreciated.

Wed, Oct 10 2007 - 03:54 PM rating by rangutan

A very fine report showing more normality to this destination that I first believed, inviting. (That is a delicious way to advertise! :-)b...

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