Bogota, the City of Bicycles, Fantastic Old Town, Poor and Rich


I arrived to Bogota at the worst possible time. It was friday evening during rush hours and it was raining. Usually zooming between cars in a traffic is not a problem but this time it looked like the road that was supposed to be two lane became packed with cars and trucks in four lanes so I had to zig zag all the time, searching for another spot to squeeze in and trying to cover another ten or twenty meters. It was raining, slippery asphalt and unpredictable behaviour of Colombian drivers made the trip through Bogota a real hassle.


The day after I realised that the city is really crazy. After the ride through it I could only suspect that Colombians here have some unique temperament. A half hour walk in the centre was enough to nearly loose my mind. I’m not sure if it’s elevation (2,640 metres or 8,660 feet), bad weather, crazy winds going through the city or maybe hundreds of people roaming on the streets trying to find their path between loud vendors. The noise is huge, additionally it’s amplified by the sound of roaming cars and motorbikes, which by the way produce a lot of exhaust resulting in bad headache. Did I mention the wind throwing the sand directly into the eyes?


Bogota, as the whole Colombia is a land divided in two. The world of poor and the other, for those who are privileged. Half hour bus trip north takes you to the rich neighbourhood, quite similar to El Poblado in Medellin. Trip to the other district reminds that Bogota have some non crazy face as well. Here’s the streets are clean and wind won’t throw sand in your eyes. There are no loud street vendors, sidewalks are full of well dressed, successful Colombians and the area is full of expensive boutiques, restaurants and malls.


Bogota is probably the first city in Latin America that is really friendly for bicyclists. On Sundays and holidays, somewhere around 122 kilometres of streets are closed and they become free to use by bicyclers and pedestrians and besides that, bicyclers can also use some cycling infrastructure such as bike paths.


Located near the majestic hills of Bogota, La Candelaria is the historical centre of the city. On a sunny day it charms tourist with it’s typical colonial beauty. Fridays and Saturdays evenings are filled with young Colombians, who disappear somewhere after 11 PM. Here are some pictures not showing it all.

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