Medellin – Piece myself back together

From an extreme adventure in San Gil, we were about to geto to Medellin by bus. A picture cannot describe the beautiful overlook ove the city.

Except that I was bored by the driver who had blasted music on the radio at 4 am, the view put instantly peace in my heart. I have to admit that any pictures do this city justice. Nestled in the Aburra Valley, this “City of Eternal Spring” DOES NOT disappoint with its mountainside scenery, artistic infrastructure and luxury options.

I have to admit that the first day, Medellin greeted us with rain trailing behind the tiredness of San Gil. Indeed we slept, I believe from 3 pm until the next morning LOL.

What’s so special about Guatape, Colombia? It’s called the country’s most colorful town, for its brightly painted buildings decorated with fresco-like panels called ‘zocalos’. The place was flooded in the 1970s to construct a huge hydro-electric, dam, submerging its fields and making it look like a collection of islands. Climb the El Peñol, on e of the world’s largest rocks, to get the best view.

Well, beautiful, right? So, what to do on the following day: let’s go to Guatapé! The mistake, thought, was that we went there during Semana Santa. Result of being a stupid idea (of course), it seemed the whole Colombia was there! Therefore it took us hours to get to the top, and it was full of people. I got frustrated really quick (sorry Andrea for it), lesson learnt: never again.

Because of this mishap, we didn’t see the beautiful colorful Guatape’s town, pity. On the other hand, Frencise was back in town with us. So we experienced our first night out to Medellin & cheered on our reunion! It was even funnier because Frencise met 2 Dutch guys on her same flight. Indeed we saw her again back at the restaurant where she was having dinner with them. They became our Dutch couple for the rest of the time in Medellin.

Frencise back in town!

Today, it was time for the Comuna 13 Tour: once a very dangerous place, now a tourist destination. Comuna 13 was well-know for its dark past. For many decades, this part of Medellin, was a place of murders and disappearances. Criminals reigned, innocents were killed, and the people were in constant fear and desperation. It was a nightmare until hope was found a few years ago. Now, Comuna 13 is frequented by tourists who are curious about its history and transformation.

Arriving a bit late because of Andrea’s hangover, the Dutch couple was luckily awaiting for us. These guys were incredible, it doesn’t matter what language or whatever, they were capable of making friendship with everyone around them by speaking a mix of Dutch-Spanish-English. (The best language ever will remain the smile)

The Comuna 13 could be described as: the energy and soul at urban art. The walls serve as canvas for artistic expression reflecting emotions, societies, political issues. They translate Life and History. Comuna 13, also known as San Javier, such an inspiration! It’s one of the 16 communes (districts) that make up the city, but with no doubt, a neighborhood that I’ve particularly enjoyed to meet and that seems to reflect the past and the future of Medellin itself.

If Medellin was once considered one of the 10 most dangerous cities in the world, due to Pablo Escobar’s drug cartels war, today is synonymous with innovation and above all optimism. A symbol of home in the future!

The Comuna 13 was built by the artistic movements created in it, such as painting, music, and dance. Therefore, Art has become the vehicle of excellence to promote artistic and political expression. The walls have become authentic canvases where artists painted graffiti that tell us the history of this neighborhood and, above all, LIFE! The neighborhood we visited was full of life, full of color, full of energy, loaded with the future as opposed to the blackness, terror, death that the past has shown us.

The tour was just amazing and the guide made it more beautiful explained us everything in details. The tour took a bit longer than expected: the Dutch couple was asking questions no stop (glad for it), Andrea was getting lost all the time taking pictures & so on. In the end, it was all worth it. We left just right before it started to pouring down.

Six outdoor escalators and hundreds of colorful murals & homes are credited to have brought communal peace to on of Medellin’s most dangerous neighborhoods. These mural’s pics always fill me with hope. Medellin is an example of struggle, through its culture, and it had managed to overcome a past that marked Colombia forever.

We ended up at the Dutch’s couple hostel where (while Andrea took a nap), we organized a huge ping-pong tournament. It was a lot of fun. We ended up even having dinner all together at Pizzeria. Being so far from how for such a long time made me truly miss my hometown food. Indeed eating pizza full myself of more happiness!

Right after dinner, we went back at the hostel for changing. In the meantime the guys drank something at the rooftop of our hostel. Once ready, we went at the Vintrash club. I believe its one of the most famous club in Medellin because it was overbook. Therefore they allowed us to go just downstairs: so cool! As if we had the whole room for ourselves.

The night was endlessly beautiful, it was as if life was going in slow motion in order to make us living the most of it. And Medellin was making us live every moment to the fullest. As our souls knew already, as this city has much more to offer as we expected! Indeed it was supposed to be few days trip but it ended up being 1 week long!

Beside going to the Mall after breakfast, the next day, well few hours later we didn’t really do much. Back at the hostel we played cards and ate pizza while “Game of Thrones” was on and then we went to sleep.

The next day we went to the Dutch couple’s hostel (which barely became one of ours) & waited for them to be ready (almost worst than a woman). While I was waiting, Frencise took advantage of the situation and called her mom, someone hit me softly on the shoulder: it was Chris a guy who played ping-pong with us and offered us dinner. He kind of auto-invited himself of joying us and even invited me out for dinner. The moment he left, the Dutch couple showed up and I urged everyone to leave immediately without leaving a commentary LOL.

I eventually explained the situation on the way to the Gondola which happened to be closed that day; how lucky, this was for sure karma! At least the view was worth it and we made new friends on the ride. Of course the Dutch couple were just curious to know everything about the people in the same gondola as ours: so fun! (listen carefully to the video above LOL).

So we ended up on the Nutibara hill in the middle of the city where you can see the whole city: Medellin! There we had lunch and played cards. There the Dutch couple got into a fight because they were not agreeing with rules.. ups.. another fight started when Frencise wanted to play ping-pong & Greg said “Oh well, I tear you with my eyes closed!”. I was tired & fall asleep HAHA.

After I woke up, I just realized they did thousands of games, none of them Frencise won. As a kind of last day together we decided to have Sushi for dinner all together. I was happy as a child because I was looking forward to have Sushi for long time & we just ended up in the best place & company ever!

Back at the hostel, we saw Andrea again.. she seemed to be really happy! She met a guy and came back for grabbing all her stuff and leaving for the night.

The Dutch couple & Frencise decided to go to Guatape’; since I’ve been there already I went to Plaza Botero with some guys I met at the hostel few nights before. I first had breakfast with Brianna (my twin friend I met in San Gil). It was so nice seeing someone after so little time & still having the same bound when you just met that person. But then comes the time when you have to say goodbye; & so I joined the others at the hostel. When I walked in a guy said “Wow!” I looked at him like “Did you just say it because I am not wearing make up?”. He handed me his phone showing me an actress picture of which he said I resembled her “But she is beautiful” I said. “Indeed!” the boys exchanged punches.

Me and compliments LOL

We got to the Plaza Botero and got lost in this part of town: such a beauty. We kept walking: the guys ended up buying sunglasses. I felt like mom giving them permissions whether buying it. At some point Jace left us for joying Medellin free tour & we ended up at Parque de los Pies Descalzos where a woman explained us that people walk through the fountain in order to think & wash their conscience. We just smiled and just walked through the Bamboo’s place where the guys hanged on like monkeys and just Jason were able to cut himself with it.

We laughed like babies, we couldn’t stop. At some point Jason left for salsa lessons so Brian and I went desperately in search of ice-cream! We asked every person in the street where we could find the best ice cream shop ever until a kind woman showed us the way. It wasn’t the best one to be honest, but we were still happy!

The weather was turning grey as if a storm was about to approach us. We urged to take a cab back at the hostel but it seemed we had to go to Brazil instead to the hostel. All the taxi drivers refused to take us to the hostel. Nowadays, I still wondering what the heck was wrong with them. Anyway, somehow we catched another cab on the way.

The misadventure did NOT END here; indeed right before arriving at the hostel, the taxi driver reversed with the car. LOL What now? Where are we heading to? Has our endgame come? No, he was about to run out of gasoline LOL. So we reached the nearest gas station and her refill the car. In order to do so, we had to get out the car (in case it will explode? LOL).

We finally reached the hostel & went upstairs on the rooftop where we just relaxed in the “hammock’s garden”. Hanging there on my own by listening that song “Calma”, as if my soul just found peace & didn’t care that the rain was overwhelming me. Indeed I was feeling happy.. con calma, mi vida con calma. Hell yes, living the moment without overthinking about anything; starting to switching off the brain & being there for living the moment at the fullest. I don’t know, Medellin has bewitched me. I knew you had something extraordinary awaiting for me, my soul was right! Know I’ve got it.

When you see something, it can’t be unseen.⁠
When you hear a sound, it can’t be unheard.⁠
When you feel something, it can’t be unfelt.⁠
I know that day I’ve learnt something that can never be unlearned: self-love. It’s a life long process… a journey, better still a rollercoaster, one that knows no end.⁠
I know now for sure, that day I found the courage to piece myself back together to myself again. By falling in love with myself again, results of being one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.⁠
Sometimes you need a little help during your life and I can’t be more thankful for the journey you’ve put me through from that day on.
The night is young so are we, we were about to enjoy the last night in this magical city.. oh Medellin!
After dinner, I finally reached back to the girls & the Dutch couple for celebrating the last night together. As much weird I was feeling, I was happy ! We went to a particular bar: it has a pool full of kid’s ball (stinky and sweaty as fuck). Fun, you would say… well we just left right before the situation got out of control.

Besides jumping into the pool, people were throwing ball at each others. Once… twice… third… then it was enough. Indeed one of the Dutch guy got mad at a local guy because he was throwing the balls way too hard at people. (gave him a taste of the same medicine). The other Dutch guy almost ended up into the pool because he touched my hair so I started kicking him until he fell into the pool. Right after a stupid guy who we met at our hostel, from the other side of the pool threw a ball on my face. I just showed him my middle finger and left the club LOL.

We were about to walking away and someone said “Gigi!”. Brian & Jace were about to go on a bus party so we joined them!

Besides ended up in a weird club (I believe we ended up in a whorehouse? LOL), we had a blast! Because I’m a weirdo so I have my own way to show love to people. At some point, I “killed” Brian by using a beer bottle (empty of course) & put it on my middle finger AHAH. Unforgettable!

unfortunately I have not the picture, but I was something like this ahah

Hardest morning ever… after breakfast, it was already time for leaving. I set up the room and brought down my backpack. In the meantime, Frencise got a call with her parents.

I was hanging on a “hammock” THEN there I started to feel my tears falling down my face & I couldn’t control myself. When Frencise were done, she reached me, we looked at each other and we hugged “I’m getting emotional!”. Then I started to CRY!

We had lunch at the hostel & then it was time for leaving Medellin behind and keep the adventure going on.

I’ve never cried so hard because I had to leave a place behind!