We didn’t quite know where we were going when we set out Sunday morning; we were just heading in the direction of a giant yellow statue. It is quite visible, especially from our apartment in Cable.
It took us about half an hour, but we eventually found our way to a steep street lined with speakers blasting tinny melodies. The home of the yellow curiosity was Ecoparque Los Yarumos. It was early in the morning, so there were only a few families pushing their kids through the turnstile and into the park grounds. I was kind of surprised it was even open and staffed before 9am.
Barret and I had a quick stroll around before we found the cafeteria and bought two pintados. That’s the local term for a cup of milk with a splash of coffee. It comes in a sage-green plastic cup that is so thin the bottom tends to bulge from the weight of the liquid. I like the milk to coffee ratio, but Barret’s not quite convinced.
We found a bench near the top of the park and looked out over the city. While the view was great, it kind of felt like you needed kids to enjoy all the activities at Los Yarumos. There was a nature trail, but it was closed till the afternoon and only accessible with a guide.
Not to worry though- it was a beautiful day and the walk back down was spent photographing Manizales architecture. Many of the neighborhoods are built terrace-style using cinder blocks and red bricks. The front of the house has a finished, painted texture, while the less visible parts of the house tend to be exposed brick.
I feel like the architecture is not wildly different from the US, but there are unique touches that remind me that I am somewhere foreign. The most obvious difference would be the bright color combinations. However, the tile work and the dainty decorative metal also catch my eye.
Even things that might seem standard are interpreted in surprisingly different ways in Colombia. Concrete sidewalks have patterns etched into them and I’ve even seen some hand chiseled curbs. It was Barret who noticed that the metal bars on windows tend to be on the inside of the house while the glass is on the outside.
These are just some of the things that keep me busy during my walks or my ride to work. I might see these kinds of details every day, but I’m not bored with them yet.