Sights and Sounds of Bogotá

We have been in Bogotá since April 1. Since then I’ve made numerous trips to various stores and we’ve all gone out to see some of the city. When the mood strikes me, I’ll pull out my phone and capture a few moments of what is going on around me.

With 8 milllion people, there’s always plenty of people around. Things do quiet down somewhat at night. It is not a city that never sleeps from what I can tell. Most shops and restaurants in our neighborhood close at 9:00 PM.

Below are a dozen or so of those moments captured in short videos.

We joined the ciclovia as pedestrians one Sunday. This coming Sunday we plan on renting bikes and enjoying it more. If it doesn’t rain too much.

Lucas just had to try some cane juice. We didn’t buy any from this woman, but later on I gave him a 1,000 pesos so he could by some from an old man. It is better with lime juice.

We stumbled upon the San Alejo flea market while wandering through Candelaria. We read later is is well known. An entire city block is dedicated to it. Dozens of stalls are selling all sorts of things. Some of the old items looked like they were cleared out of an old attic or basement and hadn’t see the light of day for decades. Other vendors created new items for sale. Quite a mix of stuff.

I have been doing most of my grocery shopping and Colsubsidio. I paused one day outside the store to take a video of some art. Some of it commisioned, like the statues of the boys looking over the wall. Most of it was probably not commisioned. There is a lot of graffiti or “street art” here. In most of the places I’ve lived, it is a sign of a neighboorhood in trouble. But here it is almost everywhere and is not necessarily a bad thing.

On Sundays many of the museums are free, so on Easter Sunday we visited the Museo de Oro, the Gold Museum. In addition to the hundreds of samples of gold artifacts created by various peoples over the centuries, there was lot of information about the evolution of gold working technologies, what the artifacts were used for, and more.

This video is a quick look around the street that we walked down on our way to the Catedral Primada de Colombia from the Museo de Oro. The ciclovia was happening, so there were no cars on the street.

In front of the Catedral Primada de Colombia is Plaza de Bolivar. Simon Bolivar is major historical figure in these parts and rightly so. This plaza is one of the many things named for him in Colombia.

We ventured into the Catedral Primada de Colombia and it is lovely. I was especially impressed by the organ and cupola, so I took this video. I wonder what the organ sounds like…

I’ve spent some time in New York and I remember being struck by how high the buildings were. The concrete and glass canyons loomed over you in so many places. Here in Bogota the city has a much more open feel to it. It is plazas like this one that contribute to that feeling of openness. It is nice.

I drove in Panama for several days and while it required you to be “poco agresivo”, it wasn’t too bad. Here in Bogotá there are twice as many people as all of Panama. And they almost all want to go first! I am glad I don’t drive here. I did notice that the city has a lot of cyclists, but as much as I love cycling I don’t think I’d want to do it here. The cars, buses and taxis all jostle for position in the lanes. Motor cycles snake between lanes and anywhere they can fit. There are bike lanes along the sidewalks, but they are full of people going every which way. In a word, chaos! Also, all the traffic fills the air with so much polution that it probably outweighs the health benefits of cycling.