I remember that we really wanted to go to Medellín, everyone told us that it is the most beautiful city of Colombia, that we would have a great time, that people are amazing, that there are a lot of things to do, and because of this we had high expectations. I also remember that we were anxious to leave Bogotá, it meant starting our journey for real, and what better place to do it than in the city of eternal spring… well, Medellín didn’t met our expectations.
I had already told Stefano that people in Medellín are very friendly, that it isn’t just an urban legend, and every time we experienced this kindness I was telling him: “You see?! People are friendly for real!”, we were coming from Bogotá –and I don’t want to say that all the people in Bogotá are not friendly with strangers, it’s just not a common thing– where all the people live in a hurry and maybe are having a bad day because of how busy can the city get, instead in Medellín everyone is attentive and willing to help you. It happened the first time we took the metro, we didn’t know which ticket to buy and a woman approached us –I think she saw our disoriented faces–, advised us on what to buy and how to use it, asked us where we were going, told us how to get there and she worried about us until we got on the right train. It’s good to feel that people in an unknown place welcome you.
Unfortunately that was not enough to make our stay pleasant, there have been four influencing factors and it has been mostly our fault:
- The weather: we arrived in the beginning of the rainy season, thus it rained most of the time. Well, we can’t control the weather, it is what it is, and we often decided last-minute to stay home because it started pouring.
- Our location: for our 8-day stay we chose Los Colores, a neighborhood a bit far away from everything, too residential and where nothing happens, and this isn’t of any help to us, I will explain why.
- The difficulty to socialize: well, we both have a “small” difficulty to make the first move, we find it really hard to start talking with someone we don’t know. It’s not antipathy, after “breaking the ice” we’re lovely person. We know very well we have to work on this, but it’s still complicated and a little uncomfortable, we never know how to start. Obviously a simple “hi” would do the job. This had an important role, we arrived in Medellín alone without knowing anyone –we have a paisa friend, but she wasn’t in the city– and we were not able to get to know anybody new, we tried but we failed. We went to a Couchsurfing meeting, but almost everybody already knew each other and the groups were already formed. Stefano and I were our own group, a little afraid of people, waiting someone to come and talk to us. In the end someone came, we talked for a while with a couple of people, but we were already tired and the next day we had planned one of our failed activities in the city, so we went home.
- Times: I don’t know what happens with closing times in Medellín, we tried 3 times before giving up: the planetary, the castle and El Poblado. At the first two we checked their timetables, but once we got there they were already closing; the planetary was supposed to have a last show at 6 p.m., we arrived at 4 p.m. but the ticket office was already closing.
–Sorry, the last show is at 4 and we already sold the tickets. –they said.
–But the table outside says that the last show is at 6 –I indignantly refuted.
–Ah yes, the dome is broken.
I was not going to refute anymore, but Stefano and I looked at each other and said: “How can it be broken? In which dome are people going to see the 4 o’clock show?”, we left, ending up at the botanical garden and guess what, it rained. We gave a pretty fast tour and it didn’t seem anything special. The same thing happened at the castle, but this time I told them quite angry: “You should correct the timetable”, Stefano laughed and said to me: “Let’s go”. It’s a pity, it looked like a nice place. We ended up in the Santa Fé mall, and shopping malls are definitely not Stefano’s favorite places. To make things better we decided to eat sushi –sushi always makes us happy–. In this way and with some rain we ended the day. The third time was in El Poblado and it was completely our mistake, we went on Sunday and we assumed that all restaurants would be open. It was not the case, everything was closed, and this time there wasn’t sushi for us.
Despite all this we are going to give to Medellín another chance in future. After a while, when we were in Quito, fate has planned for us to meet with Lisseth –our paisa friend–, we told her what happened to us and she asked: “What did you do in Medellín?”, we laughed and said: “nothing”.