I have fallen in love with yet another city.
A city that is full of colour, full of music and the friendliest people. This warm brick-coloured city that creeps up the green surrounding mountains is always alive, especially in December, when it sparkles with millions of Christmas lights at night. Candles line the streets while families cook sancocho and drink fresh juices, oat and corn drinks, ron, aguardiente and beer. There is a constant blend of music playing in the streets of Medellín, every couple of blocks is a new, but similar sounding, song being played loudly. People here enjoy themselves: they eat and drink with loved ones, dance the nights away, and constantly celebrate life. The energy is electric.
We extended our stay and spent a little over six weeks in Medellín. From the very first day I knew this city was special. The zest for life that the paisas (people from Antioquia) have is contagious. We stayed in Laureles, a barrio filled with little shops, cafes, restaurants, bars and sweaty basement salsa clubs. We explored the mountain sides, the cable cars and exterior escalators that took us deeper into barrios formed by informal settlements that were once notorious neighbourhoods, now transformed and vibrant with colourful murals.
We drank fresh juices en agua or leche every day, soaked cheese in hot chocolate, and ate arepas on rainy mornings. We celebrated Christmas eve and day with a warm and welcoming family and friends, drinking too much aguardiente and dancing until the sun peeked over the mountains. We did the same on New Year’s eve and day with the same lovely people.
We lived near Estadio, where Logan and I would take in the breathtaking views as we jogged around a race track before working out with locals in an outdoor gym.
I found my Colombian soul sister. She took us dancing and showed us what it’s like to live and grow up in Medellín; what foods to try, what parks to have a beer in while making new friends.
The diversity of people hanging out all together in public areas is amazing and is what makes Medellín so incredible. After travelling for over a year, and my entire life, I can confidently say that paisas are the friendliest, warmest, most amable people I have ever met.
Leaving broke my heart. I was not ready. I know I will be back, soon, to practice more salsa.