Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Vacation Learning: Colombia #9 Medellín

If I were asked what is my favorite thing about Medellín, I will immediatelly say: its public transportation system. I enjoyed the metro train.  I live near Chicago, and although we have the "L" and the subway,  the elevated metro train in Medellín is a lot nicer, way more efficient, and absolutely safe. I would add that it is also cheaper!

What is great about their transportation system is that it also includes the new trams.  The street cars were open to the public just a few months back.  We were able to ride for free, and were given a paper "tranvia" (street car) as a souvenir. 
Last, but by far my favorite, we used the metro cable or cable cars.  It gave us the opportunity to see most of the city, and also reach remote locations. 

Here are the views from one of the many rides on the cable car.  First we were going right above neighborhoods, and cultivated fields.  Next, we were on top of mountains, and lavish vegetation. 

Today, I will like to share about our day in the Plaza de Botero, and the Antioquia Museum.  I started sharing about the trains because that is how we moved around in the city. These two attractions, as well as the Explora Park, are just off the train station.
In the Plaza, the kids got to look, admire, wonder, and play around Botero's famous sculptures. Big Sister posed in from of a horse.  Little Guy liked the cat above.   The Plaza is very clean, and feels really safe due to the present of many police officers. We saw many tours, and other tourists (not in groups), walk around taking pictures.

Right next to Botero's Plaza, we visited the Antioquia Art Museum. We were able to learn about Fernando Botero's background, and how he decided to create a style of his own. Most people see his paintings and sculptures as obese characters, and items.  I used to think the same. After experiencing the museum, we saw how he played with volume to exaggerate features, and call for attention to details.  

Big Sister wanted to try to replicate a painting titled Pedrito (little Pedro).  Pedro was Botero's 4th son who died on a car accident at only 4 years of age. I picked this painting to share a little about the artist.  He used his paintings to send a message, and nothing in them is without a reason.  From the blue traffic officer uniform, to the dolls dressed in mourning clothes inside the house, this painting is trying to keep Pedro's memory alive, and to show his father's suffering. 

The museum has several rooms for children to learn more about Botero, and to try out his unique style. 

The kids really like pumping voluminous sculptures, drawing, and exploring art.   The last picture above shows Big Sister playing a regular sized, and a Botero's sized guitar. 

On the other side of the plaza, we visited el Palacio de la Cultura (Culture Palace).  Inside it has offices to serve the public with government related businesses.  We were allowed entrance to see the beautiful hallways, and views from the balcony. 

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