After 24 hours of travel and little sleep, I arrived in Medellin. I slid through the airport, the English speaking (almost) taxi helper got me into a cab, and we sped downhill, and then uphill, for 40 minutes. OMG (as is said), we entered the picture I’ve had for a while of Medellin. Like waking up amidst a dream, but in the dream. From the plane I saw that the highways snaked, brightly lit, like rivers through the city. As we descended in the taxi, the barrios up the steep hillsides looked like densely lit electronic panels. In the US, the hillsides of cities have a less, and more sparsely distributed, light of the wealthy landholdings, thinning out from the tightly populated lowlands. Here the lights up the steeply slanted hillsides invoke vertigo.
We arrived at the place I had selected online. The driveway seemed almost overgrown and abandoned. The owners greeted me to a place best described as shabby-chic Colombiano. I just felt the shabby part and had first-night nerves as I stumbled through an old villa that has seen better days and headier lives. Fortunately, I was so tired I crashed before I could worry much about the place I had almost randomly chosen many thousands of miles away.
And this is where I had my morning coffee and reconsidered last nights exhaustion induced qualms.
The house is an old museum that once housed a rollicking bunch of artists. Their spirit occupies the place, despite the rather austere Christian descendants who now eke out a living repairing the old pianos left behind, and hosting travelers. In one of the above photos, that would be the piano-man repairing one of many in a room across from the breakfast table. One can only imagine the party scenes that reputedly took place in that room between with the white piano and wonderful fresco on the wall.
After arepas and eggs I wandered the grounds a bit. Something I have missed since Vietnam is orchids, and bees and bugs and, well, tropical gardens. I’m told there are some endangered monkeys here, though I haven’t met them yet. Tropical colorful birds eat fruit from a branch at the second floor of the house. Hopefully I’ll get photos tomorrow.
The usual arrival in a new country; elation, fear, and a bit of joy. It’s great to be on the road again. I think I’ll be sleeping for a few days, though.