Christmas in Bogota: Big Trees, Mongolian Food, and Catedral de Sal

6
90
Christmas lights in Bogota
One of downtown Bogotá's churches at night, adorned with Christmas lights.
One of downtown Bogotá’s churches at night, adorned with Christmas lights.

Bogotá features its share of lights — not quite the candescence of Medellín — but I would have never known what kind of display the Colombian capital offers had I not come to see it.

I had two other things I really wanted to do as well: go to the Gold Museum (Museo del Oro) downtown and to the Salt Cathedral (Catedral de Sal) in Zipaquirá. I accomplished both.

Both were interesting, especially the cathedral because it’s underground, in a salt mine. It’s only 10,000 pesos (about $5.50) roundtrip, two hours each way, from downtown Bogotá by taking the Transmilenio rapid transit bus to the north end of the city, then another bus from the Portal del Norte.

Something I’ve done before was done again too. I went to the top of the Monserrate, only this time I didn’t walk, I took the cable car, and it wasn’t a Sunday so it was not nearly as busy up there.

And because at some point during the day, you gotta eat and I did that three times at a restaurant I have come to love, Crazy Mongolian Flaming Barbecue, a place that sautes vegetables and your choice of meat, sauces and rice or pasta on a huge grill.

The owner, Jose, is a friendly Caleño who speaks English so well, he could be a news anchor in the states. His lack of an accent makes me laugh.

Like I did with my Christmas-related post on Medellín, this one is going to be more pictures than words, if you agree that a photo is worth…well, you know.

Feliz Navidad!

Cooking in Bogota
Jose, making my bowl of rice, chicken, and bean sprouts, red peppers, carrots, zucchini and onions, with Polynesian sauce (7,000 pesos, or about $4).
The biggest cross in the Catedral de Sal.
The biggest cross in the Catedral de Sal.
A big emerald
A big emerald, something Colombia is famous for, among a lot of gold.
The tree outside Centro Comercial Gran Estación
The tree outside Centro Comercial Gran Estación in west Bogotá, with a light rain falling.
The nativity scene at Plaza Bolívar.
The Nativity scene at Plaza Bolívar.
Gold from the southern region of Colombia at the Museo del Oro.
Gold from the southern region of Colombia at the Museo del Oro.
A visitor to the Catedral de Sal gets close to a cross.
A visitor to the Catedral de Sal gets close to a cross.
Bogotá
Carrera 7, closed to cars and crowded with people looking at the lights.
One of the workers at the Catedral de Sal, sending people toward the light show at the end of the tour.
One of the workers at the Catedral de Sal, sending people toward the light show at the end of the tour.
A view of the expansive city of Bogotá from atop the Monserrate.
A view of the expansive city of Bogotá from atop the Monserrate.
Like the story? Take a second to support Medellin Living on Patreon!

LEAVE A REPLY

6 COMMENTS

    • Great Post! I’m glad you spent christmas here in my favorite city. By the way Bogotá is not a sprawl, which is reminiscent of Los Angeles, where it’s nearly impossible or it takes forever to travel to any other part of the city. Sprawl by definition is auto-oriented, which should remind you of those terrible cities of Texas such as Houston and San Antonio. I don’t think you would call New York a sprawl would you? Shame on you.

      Happy New Year Ryan 🙂

      • I wouldn’t call Manhattan “a sprawl” but that’s only because it is a dense amount of skyscrapers on an island.

        But Manhattan is only one of the New York City’s five boroughs, and the others (Bronx, Queens, Brooklyn, Staten Island) have far fewer tall buildings, and therefore might be characterized as “sprawl”, which I don’t think is a bad word.

        To me, sprawl just means a lot of development covering a wide area. It says nothing of the quality of living, development, income levels, demographics, or safety in the area.

      • it was a good christmas. although i guess it was half a christmas since i was there for eve but not day. by christmas day, i was in cali, at the feria. but you’ll read more about that later…

        and gotta go with dave on the sprawl, as far as how you define it. but yes, you are right, cities like los angeles, and the big ones in texas, are worse for quality of living than new york, no doubt. but i’m biased. new york is my favorite city in the states