Thursday, June 21, 2007

revisiting Bogota

This is my third visit to Bogota. The city is chique, elegant and charming. The climate is pleasant. The colonial part of the city is impressive. During the visit to the Colombian foreign office they showed us the room in which Simon Bolivar stayed and the window through which he escaped, while his lover Manuelita was holding off the assasins at the front door. I recalled the film " La libertadora del libertador" which brings out the character of Manuelita, who was the only one to put fear in the heart of the great warrior Bolivar.

I also remembered my favourite Colombian authors, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Laura Restrepo and Alvaro Mutis. These have taken me in their journeys of magical realism though the river Magdalena and the little mythical town Maconde.

Bogota is the second best destination for golf in Latin America. There are about 20 courses in and around the city. The courses are undulating with great views of the mountains. The ball goes ten yards more due to the 6000 ft altitude. In my first visit I had played the 36 holes of the Country Club, Lagartos and the Army Golf course.

The transmillenium bus project has transformed public transporation of the city. This brings ministers and officals from India who want to learn from this project.

Hmm.. outsiders are scared of kidnappings, terrorism and drug trafficking. Yes it is there. But the Bogotanos take it in their stride and enjoy life. My young colleague Ankan Banerji in the embassy says he drives out around 100 kms outside Bogota in weekends with his friends.

I am leaving today afternoon to Quito, listening to the song " Adios me pido " of the colombian singer Juanes.

1 comment:

EDGZUN said...

What a refreshing view of Colombia! Most people have horrible misconceptions about Colombia and its cities. Thanks for informing everybody that things are getting better and it's an amazing place to visit.