Friday, January 20, 2017

Miami - Art Deco and Alligators

The Ritz Carlton Hotel

The last stop on my 13 month journey was a brief stopover in Miami before the 24 hour flight home.

Miami is a fairly typical US city, however it has a large number of beautiful art deco buildings along the celubreous Ocean Drive near the famous Miami beach.

Hotels on Ocean Drive

Shops and restaurants on Ocean Drive

The city from South Pointe pier

You can walk the length of Miami beach from the famous South Pointe pier and see all the beach and the art deco hotels along Ocean Drive.

The South Pointe Pier

A surf lifesaver station on Miami beach

Looking across the bay from South Pointe pier

The other thing that Miami is famous for is the Everglades. There are many companies that provide tours to the Everglades or you can easily hire a car to drive there.

Once there you can see plenty of wildlife on the airboat tours.


The airboats head out across the grass sea, through channels and past many Alligators and other animals.

A channel in the Everglades

The grass sea

A bird in the Everglades

An Alligator

There was also an alligator sanctuary where there were even more Alligators.

The Alligator sanctuary

My last evening on this trip was spent with friends watching the US election and considering the results, I was quite happy to leave Miami...

The view out the window at Miami International Airport

This is the last blog post of my year long trip, so until I head off on my next adventure it's back to the usual politics, philosophy, technology and food :)

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Santa Fe de Antioquía

The Catederal Basilica de la Inmaculada Concepción in Santa Fe

Santa Fe de Antioquía Is a small historic town around an hour by bus from Medellin. It is known for its colonial architecture and its historic bridge just outside of town.

The main plaza is surrounded by restaurants and cafés, and in the center of the plaza there's a small market.

The main plaza and market

Café's surrounding the plaza

The streets of Santa Fe are the typical cobblestone surrounded by whitewashed colonial style buildings.

The streets of Santa Fe

Another street in Santa Fe

And of course there are many small churches.

Iglesia de Jesús Nazarino

Nuestra Señora de Chiquinquirá

The gardens and plaza in front of the chapel

And a historic convent.

Iglesia de Santa Bárbara

Just outside of town is the historic Puente de Occidente - A suspension bridge over the river.

The bridge from the road

You can get there by mototaxi from the main plaza.

Crossing the bridge

The river from the bridge

The suspension cables (and café)

The suspension towers

The round trip only takes around 45 mins with taking time for photos.

Santa Fe de Antioquía was my last excursion before leaving South America from Medellin.

Before leaving I also made a stop in San Antonio de Pereira to enjoy a final Paisa caliente before heading to the airport.

San Antonio de Pereira Church

Paisa Calentado 

Next stop was Miami to then catch the long flight home.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

The salt cathedral of Zipaquirá

A sculpture in the salt Cathedral

Zipaquirá is a small town about an hour by bus from Bogotá. 

Zipaquirá plaza

The town is known for its salt mine which has been converted into a working Cathedral by the miners.

The entrance to the mine

The Cathedral also contains many sandstone and salt sculptures in the various chapels carved into the walls of the mine.

A chapel

Religious scenes such as the Nativity 

A sculpture of the Nativity


Angel statue

And crosses

A cross

can be found throughout the many galleries in the Cathedral as well as a copy of Michaelangelo's "Creation of Adam" 

The Creation of Adam

And other original sculptures depicting scenes of nature.

Pachamama sculpture

The mine is still a working salt mine and you can take a tour to see parts of the actual mine (although you can't enter the working part) and mine your own salt.

Mining for salt