Great day in Medellin! We took our time in the morning and then took an aero cable up the mountain. As is common in many mountainous Latin American cities, most of the slums are located in the mountains that stretch up from the city center. I always think of it as prime real estate given the amazing views, but for some reason, nobody else does.
In any case, being the progressive town that it is, Medellin has built an aerial metro (imagine a closed-in gondola ski lift) that transports residents up the mountain to their homes and into town for work or whatever. These hills are so steep that it was impossible to build a traditional metro or even run a bus service. Before the aerial system, residents had no choice but to walk to work in Medellin center, sometimes taking upwards of two hours to do so.
For the tourist, this ride is truly one of the highlights of Medellin, a scary (for those of us who have a fear of hights) but spectacular ride to the top of the mountain, with a bird’s eye view of neighborhoods that would be way too dangerous for us to wander around in. We got a really good view of the life in the alleys, the houses, in the streets. It actually didn’t look as bad as the poverty I have seen in parts of Asia or Africa. Not that I would like to live there, but I imagined worse.
As we went higher up the mountain, we had spectacular views of all of Medellin and its surrounding mountains. It was really breath taking! And to think that for some people, this is just their ride to and from work every day.
When we reached the top of the mountain, we found not only a national park with hiking trails, which provided us with the respite we needed from being in a city, but a vegetarian restaurant (I was in heaven!) and the first self sustaining police station in Latin America. A very proud police officer gave us a tour of the station and horse stables, complete with solar panels to generate electricity and a water purification system for all of the water used. He was about 20 years old and did say that it gets kind of boring, and cold, up on the mountain. Can’t win them all!
After all this adventure, we came down the mountain and had a delicious fusion dinner of Peruvian ceviche and sushi. Quite a combination but it was delicious. We all laughed and talked about our day. Even Saige stayed in her chair for the most part. Maybe this is why our nanny wasn’t meant to be here with us on this trip – so we could bond even more as a family.