En Route to Bogota

Zevi and I are sitting on the plane right now somewhere over the Atlantic Ocean. We’re almost halfway to Bogota from our starting point of Toronto. We took an overnight flight from Calgary to Toronto, and both of us managed to get some sleep, which was a nice bonus. Hopefully we’ll make it through the day today without too much trouble – I think it will probably be an early night, though.

I couldn’t believe how swanky the Toronto airport was, at least the international section that we were waiting in! There was an iPad for every seat at restaurants that all looked much nicer than what I am used to seeing on offer when I travel. I’m glad that airports are finally going in the direction of offering better food and a better dining experience to travellers – we ate at some pretty good spots when we were at the Houston airport recently as well. They might as well take advantage of their captive audience!

We should arrive in Bogota at about 1:30 in the afternoon. Providing that our bags have made it and we get through customs without a hitch, we will grab a taxi and make our way to our hostel. We are mostly booked in to private rooms in hostels on this trip – we both felt like we were past the point of wanting to stay in dorms with a bunch of strangers after doing that on our trip to Europe six years ago, and private hostel rooms provide a good compromise between price and privacy. Our Bogota hostel looks to be a bit removed from the city centre and more towards the Zona Rosa, a term that I’m seeing in guidebooks and in descriptions of almost every South American city to denote where the nightlife and most of the action is. It will be nice to be able to go and explore some of the more touristy sights during the day but then return to what should be a quieter area.

There are quite a few things that we are hoping to see and do in Bogota, including
The Gold Museum: Neither of us are generally all that in to museums, but we’ve heard and read from multiple sources that this museum is one that needs to be visited. There appear to be gold museums all over South America, but this looks to be the best of the best.
Bogota Bike Tours: Apparently Bogota is quite bike friendly, with one of the biggest networks of bike paths around. Either tomorrow or Thursday we are hoping to take a tour around the city on two wheels. We’re hoping to get some good insights from the guides on where we should spend our time, and go to some areas that we wouldn’t be comfortable going to on our own.
Cerro de Monserrate: We will do this climb to a first class viewpoint of Bogota on Sunday when hordes of locals will be making the ascent as well.
Andres Carne de Res: Located just outside of Bogota, this restaurant is apparently just as much spectacle as it is eatery. With a 62 page menu, and all sorts of entertainment, I’m very curious to see this much described spot with my own eyes.

I am very excited to hit the ground running and officially get our trip started. We have been scheming and dreaming about this for four years and I can’t believe that it’s actually here! I’ll admit that I’m also a bit nervous – for some reason South America, and especially Colombia, feels so far from what we know, more so than anywhere I’ve been in the past. I’m also hoping that my Spanish won’t fail me, but I’ll get us through the best I can! In the end I think straying from my comfort zone is so valuable, and I’m glad that this is pushing me away from everything that I am used to. Here we go!

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