Is the old city center still a no-go area? Isn’t the traffic really bad? And do they really eat chocolate with cheese? We shed light on Bogotá, the city of the month.
Is the old city center still a no-go area?
No, La Candelaria has changed completely in the past few years. The streets have been repaved, the old colonial houses restored, and several private universities have opened here. It’s been transformed into a really hip area with museums, galleries, restaurants and bars – and it’s safe.
Are Colombians really as fat as in the paintings of Fernando Botero, your most famous artist?
Of course, there are slim people here! But our idea of beauty is different from yours in Europe. Many men like voluptuous women, and having a bit of a belly shows that a man is successful and always has enough to eat.
Chocolate with cheese – are you serious?
All Colombian children were given chocolate con queso to drink by their grandmothers. We would dip the salty cheese in the hot, sweet chocolate and watch it melt. Our grannies knew that this combination had a lot of nutritional value. Today, the children eat other things for breakfast, but people still eat arepas, corn patties, with every meal.
Where did the gold in the Gold Museum come from?
Much of it was originally acquired from private collectors. New exhibits come from official archeological digs now that trading with gold artifacts has been prohibited. Our nation’s soil is studded with treasures. Since the peace treaty with the guerrillas, we can excavate in regions that have barely been explored so far – I’m sure we will discover plenty more.
Isn’t the traffic really bad in Bogotá?
Only during rush hour. The city introduced express buses 15 years ago that have their own lane and are often faster than the cars. One in eight people daily use Bogotá’s almost 500 kilometers of cycle paths – more than any other city in Latin America!
Has answered our questions: Eduardo Londoño
Archeological Director of the Museo del Oro, the Gold Museum of Bogotá