International Tango festival


There’s always something going on here in Medellin, so I am keeping busy even when I’m not in the operating room.

Dressed and ready to tango!

Dressed and ready to tango!

This week – it’s the 6th Festival Internacional de Tango..

the crowd at the Botanical Gardens enjoys a free show during the International Tango Festival

the crowd at the Botanical Gardens enjoys a free show during the International Tango Festival

While salsa dancing is a Colombian original (from Cali), the Argentine tango is alive and well here in Medellin.  At this week’s festival, several musicians and dancers from Medellin are being showcased for their skills – along with Buenos Aires legends..  Local schoolchildren are also participating in a series of concerts and dance demonstrations.  It’s quite a bit of fun – and showcases some of the things the city of Medellin really excels at.

After attending a Tango performance last weekend, and numerous other public events and outings – one of the things that it really noticeable is how well the city manages these events.

Fun and family friendly

There has been no trash or litter, no displays of public drunkenness (despite the fact that there is plenty of alcohol at these events), and no disturbances at any of our outings (and several were free).

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Roaming the city

During the weekend, we roam the city – taking pictures, enjoying the endlessly lovely weather – and riding on the metro (train).  The trains are affordable, quick (and if you avoid peak traveling times during the week) not too overly crowded.

above ground metro train

above ground metro train

Universidad Station

Universidad Station

Several parks and museums are located close to the Universidad Station including the Planetarium, Parque Explora (for kids) and the Botanical Gardens.

the planetarium

the planetarium

The Botanical Gardens

The ‘Joaquin Antonio Uribe’ Botanical Gardens were a delightfully relaxing place to spend a gorgeously sunny Sunday afternoon in the midst of the city, but away from the hustle and bustle of El Centro (where I live).

Jardin botanico 038

Admission is free.

There was live music to listen to, plenty of flowers, and wildlife to enjoy (iguanas roam the grounds), and assortment of snacks (ice cream, juice drinks, and other regional treats).

Iguanas roam the park

Iguanas roam the park

But the park isn’t just there to enjoy nature.. It’s a great place to people watch.. Also the people of Medellin are very kind and friendly, so they are happy to talk – even to gringas with bad Spanish, like myself.

using his camera to meet girls

using his camera to meet girls

We watched this photographer use his camera to meet girls as he roamed the park..

A group of young people singing…

Jardin botanico 134

Then we met a lovely princess..

Jardin botanico 043

and a local vendor selling gum in the park..

lost his leg due to a landmine

lost his leg due to a landmine

This very nice gentleman is a reminder that as sunny and lovely as Medellin is – there is still an ongoing war to remember.. One that has devastated thousands of young men, and displaced millions of people.

jumping rope

jumping rope

Wholesome

As a visitor (and temporary resident) of Medellin – the wholesomeness of the park is enchanting.. It’s a reminder of one of the reasons, I do enjoy Colombia so very much.. Just like my “Sundays in Bogotá” – the city slows down during the weekends, and people spent time with their loved ones.. No gameboys in evidence, and phones used mainly to take pictures..  It’s a gracious illusion that reminds me of my own childhood in a small town..

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