Arriving in Medellin, Escobar Tour

We arrived in Medellin after Captain’s first flight from Santa Marta, and taxi’ed to our AirBnB in the Poblado neighborhood. It turned out to be a big, airy and pleasant space, though with surprisingly hard beds. Our hosts had arranged a delivery of cat litter for us, so a few minutes after we arrived, we walked back down the four flights of stairs to meet the delivery driver. Super easy and convenient; it felt like we’d arrived back in a real city. (The listing hadn’t mentioned that it was a fifth-floor walk-up, of course, so we got unexpected exercise.)

That night, we booked a Pablo Escobar tour at the Purple Monkey Hostel, and we definitely had to take some pictures with their mascot-mural.

The tour started with a stop at the Inflexion Memorial Park. The smaller, free-standing plaques commemorats some of the people who were killed for standing against corruption during the worst of the drug wars. The larger stone contains a bullet hole for every person who died, and a timeline of the bombings. Heavy stuff.

The next stop, up a mountain on the edge of the city, was the “prison” Pablo had built for himself during his year or so of incarceration. The view from the helipad is pretty stellar. Most of the original house/prison complex is now demolished, and replaced with a home for the elderly.

The third stop was Pablo’s grave. Maybe the most interesting theme of the tour is how, despite the horrible things he did, Pablo also picked up fiercely devoted fans. Even now there are flowers on the guy’s grave. As before, Andrew’s favorite part of the site was the view.

From there, we headed back into the heart of the city, and took a crowded metro to a cable-car. We rode up the hillside, enjoying the view, and when we came down, we found that the line to get on at the bottom had quadrupled. Apparently we just beat rush hour!

Our real destination was the Christmas lights at Parque Norte, but we were a little early so we wandered around the Moravia district. Andrew found Churros, and everyone found a beer at an incredibly loud curbside bar.

The Christmas fair was a whole thing, but we’ll write about that separately. We had a pretty good time, though.

The way home brought us back up to the University metro stop, and then by the Exito by our house, which despite being a major corporate building still has cool street art along the side.

For dinner, we stopped at Halong Vietnamita, where we had some excellent and nostalgia-inducing food in a pleasant setting. Sailing is fun, we love our boat, and we love deserted islands, but sometimes it’s just really nice to visit big cities.

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