Colombian Adventure: Part I
Happy Happy Friday!
It’s time to begin the big Bogotá, Colombia recap! I was going to try to fit it all into one post but it was nearly impossible, so I’m going to break it down into two posts: the first half of the trip and the second half of the trip. I weeded through the photos to condense as much as possible, yet still fill you in on the good stuff. It wasn’t easy, but here’s what I came up with.
The first half of our Colombian adventure
Upon arrival in Bogotá, we met up with my brother Jeff who lives and works in the city and is also fluent in spanish. He had to finish up a couple of things at work, so Dana and I spent a couple of hours relaxing, and I talked myself into a 25-minute yoga session. Denise Austin really makes you work.
Later in the evening, our gracious host was home so we cleaned up and headed out to meet up with some friends for dinner.
The restaurant we went to was called Carta Central and their specialty is ceviche. Jeff said we had to experience their ceviche.
We ordered a couple of appetizers: one was fried seafood (calamari, shrimp, etc.) and the other was ceviche served with avocados. I snapped photos of both of them but they turned out to be pretty hideous, so they got the “x”.
I’m not a huge “fishy-fish” person meaning I don’t like my fish to taste fishy, and I’m weird about textures when it comes to seafood too, so I went the safer route and chose a shrimp ceviche where the shrimp are fully cooked. This particular dish came in a light cream sauce with plantains and chives. It was awesome! My first experience with ceviche was definitely a good one.
It was super dark in the restaurant so I apologize for the terrible flash on this bad boy but you can at least get an idea of my delicious dish.
Here is our wonderful group at dinner…
After dinner we walked back to Jeff’s place and crashed. We needed our rest for the adventures of tomorrow.
Saturday in Bogotá
In the morning we walked over to a restaurant called Bagatelle for some breakfast. Colombia is known for their amazing juices so Dana and I split a guanabana mandarin juice (on the left) and Jeff got pineapple juice with mint. Both were excellent and so refreshing!
I love all of the fresh herbs used in Colombia. It inspires me to want to try to grow a mint plant in my house this winter. Is that possible? Any thoughts?
For breakfast I ordered some type of egg souffle. I was challenged each time we went out to eat considering I couldn’t understand half of the menu. I took spanish back in middle school and freshman year of high school, and I still remember some vocab, but not enough to decipher over the content of the menus and be 100% sure of my decision. 🙂 Also, I didn’t want to bother my brother or Dana each time it came down to it since they were trying to decide on their order as well. I did my best, and the boys (and Ana) helped me too.
Back to this egg dish…what they do is mix the egg whites with parmesan cheese and they whip them up and bake them so it turns into a souffle and in the middle of the puffy mass are two runny yolks. It looked like a TON of food when it was brought to the table, but it was actually very light, yet still filling. Again, the power of eggs and their satiety rate I tell ya.
After breakfast, Jeff, Ana, Dana and I made our way out to explore the city. Our first stop was taking a gondola up to the top of a mountain to visit Monserrate which is a beautiful church in the mountains.
Did I mention I’m claustrophobic? I was happy the packed gondola ride was a short one.
The stunning views on top of the mountain…
The entrance to the market area…
And the market where I tried ants for the first time and the last time. Ants are a delicacy in Colombia. There are only two regions in Colombia where they find these ants. They fry them and salt them and I have also heard they come in chocolate-covered, and people eat them. When in Rome…I tried some ants.
Okay, I tried a single ant. It tasted like a salty dirty soy nut. I may have preferred chocolate covered? I am proud of myself for trying it but am happy to say I never have to do that again.
After our mountain adventure, we walked over to La Candelaria which is a historic area in downtown Bogotá. We all shared a bag of freshly fried plantain chips which were SO good.
The side streets were lined with small cafes and restaurants. We stopped into one and ordered an authentic tamale which we all split.
Next stop, empanadas. Tamales and empanadas were two things on my list of foods to try while in Bogotá.
They were pretty good but not as good as a homemade version a Colombian friend of mine makes. 😉
We ended up having a snacky lunch with the plantain chips, the tamale, and empanadas which I actually prefer to one big meal. That way I am able to try more foods and not be completely stuffed.
I bought a sweet treat while we were at the tamale place. I am not 100% sure what it’s made of but I do know the outside is candied guava. The inside is sort of like a thick caramel. I really enjoyed this guy.
I’m going to stop there and save Saturday evening-Monday for the next Bogotá post. I am having so much fun reliving the memories! We seriously had such an incredible time and were able to see so much of the city in such a short period of time.
More to come soon!
Have a wonderful day my friends!