English Practice in Medellin

I am pleased to announce a new blog, English Practice in Medellin. It is dedicated to assisting Spanish speakers improve their use of English by providing a safe practice space. If you are interested in participating either as a native English speaker or as learner please visit us at English Practice in Medellin.

Orchid Show at the Botanical Gardens Starts Today (02 August)

The big flower and orchid show, Orquídeas, Pájaros y Flores, starts at the Botanical Gardens today and runs through 07 August. Check the earlier post on this subject for the times and ticket prices. If you are into plants, don’t miss this one.

Jardin Botanico During the Feria de las Flores

The Botanic Gardens are generally free admission but between 02 August and 07 August there will be an entry fee for the Orquídeas, Pájaros y Flores show  (Orchids, Birds and Flowers Show).  This is a great show and well worth the admission price. The gardens will be close on 08 August to allow the show to be dismantled. Free for the rest of the year!!! To get there just take the Metro to the Universidad Station and bare right when you leave the metro system 🙂

Admission for the Orquídeas, Pájaros y Flores show is as follows:

ADULTS:      $COP14,000 ($US 7.77*)

STUDENTS: $COP 10,000 ($US 5.55)

CHILDREN:  $COP 4,000 ($US 2.22)

* At today?s exchange rate of about 1800 pesos per dollar.

This show is well worth the price and  the effort to go. See ya there!

Official 2012 Feria de Las Flores (Flower Fair) Guide

OK, here is a link to the official guide.

And here is a general website about the Flower Fair:  http://www.feriadelasflores.medellin.travel/

The 2012 Feria de las Flores Starts 03 August.

It’s getting close to the time of year again when Medellin goes crazy for a month.  This is a link to the preliminary schedule. I will post the final version when it is available.

Lots of fun stuff to do including the big orchid/flower show at the Botanical Gardens. Here is some amateur video from last years show.

Other popular events include the antique car parade (Desfile de Autos Clásicos), the horse parade (caballgata) and of course the sillateros. These are traditional floral displays that originated with transporting the flowers from Santa Elena where they are/were grown to the market places of Medellin. They are beautiful indeed.

One of my favorite events is the sancocho contest in Santa Elena. Sancocho is a delicious stew and in this event all the surrounding villages compete for the honor of  making the best. The results are of course for sale 🙂

These are just a few of the events that will take place all over the city and for most of the month. Please check the preliminary schedule for a better idea of just how much happens during August.

New Services From the Expat Blog

The Expat blog is offering some new services relevant to those who live in or would like to live in Medellin. These are the Housing in Medellin and Jobs in Medellin pages. I have not had much of an opportunity to use them yet but I am hoping we support them because they could provide  very useful services.

If you have not seen the Expat Blog it is worth a visit.

Mercado Verde Sunday 01 April

Just a quick reminder that the monthly farmers market is happening Sunday at the botanical garden. Well worth a visit if you have not taken part yet. Take some cash as you will find some very interesting food items as well as other good stuff.

Earth Hour in Medellin 31 March 2012

The Botanic Garden is getting behind the World Wildlife Fund and the international celebration of  Earth Hour or Hora del Planeta (in Spanish). There will be a bike ride leaving from Carlos E. Restrepo at 6:30 p.m. with arrival at the Parque de los Deseos at 8:00 p.m. That signal the start of a free concert by Medellin’s Philharmonic Orchestra.The parque is located adjacent to the Jardin Botanico and just to the south.

Other Colombian cities celebrating Earth Hour include Bogotá, Cali, Pasto, Yumbo and Mocoa.  Please tun off you lights between 8:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. to remind people we need to be reducing our contributions to adverse climate change. Please think carefully about what your personal responsibility is in protect our future.

Cedula Hang Up, Meet the Contraseña!

If you are living here on a visa or will be soon you should be aware that the function of processing some paperwork has shifted from the old DAS organization to the Interior Ministry. The change is causing some delays. The issuance of your cedula or national ID card is one of these. I applied for mine the day I received my new visa in November and did not get my ID until this week. The specified waiting period is six weeks 🙂 What I received is a temporary ID, referred to as the Contraseña.  The cedula will be issued in June or July.

I will admit of having been worried and a bit frustrated. I can however understand that when a function passes from one bureaucracy to another processes can get bogged down. If you have waited, this is most likely why you are experiencing a delay.

In Giradota It’s Lechona on Sundays

We took a trip Sunday down to Girardota and Barbosa to see what these towns have to offer. The towns themselves are not particularly interesting visually. Both have central plazas and reasonably nice churches but they have little of the charm of more traditional locations like San Pedro de Milagros, el Retiro and Helicona. Given we were using public transport we did not have time to explore their surroundings. They are known however for outdoor recreational facilities with pools, lounges, food and drink

We did make one very nice discovery in Girardota. On Sunday’s, lechona (suckling pig stuffed with rice) abounds and both restaurants and street vendors sell this delicious dish. We found it offered at both $COP 7,000 and 8,000. This comes out to about $US 4.00 and 4.50 for a generous plateful + salad, potatoes and a small arepa.

We also chatted with a man in Girardota who told us that in the San Andres neighborhood (vereda) there is a group that performs local traditional dances on demand and serves meals for tourists. We will be visiting there to see what this is all about and will report back.

If you decide to drop in for a Sunday treat you can buy an integrated ticket that includes both your Metro fare to the Niquia Station and a ticket for a connecting bus down to Girardota. These are available at the Metro ticket booth where you enter the system. The bus ride is about 15 or 20 minutes so it is close enough for a comfortable day trip.

If you go, please let us know what you think!

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