When we arrived in Medellin, our driver was waiting with a sign. He was a friendly chap. His name was Germán. He knew a few words in English and seemed to welcome the chance to practice with us even though his vocabulary was quite limited.
The drive from the airport to our hotel was about 45 minutes so we had plenty of time to talk with Germán about our plans for the next day in Medellin. We needed to maximize our time in the city because our flight would leave for Cartagena at 6 p.m. the next day.
You probably know that Medellin was previously the drug capital of the world when Pablo Escobar was alive and ran the famous Medellin drug cartel. Before we had left OKC on our trip, Jay and I had both just finished reading the book “Killing Pablo” by Mark Bowden. It is a riveting story about the life of Pablo Escobar and how they finally tracked him down and killed him. Colombia has a violent history, and reading certain parts of the book made cold chills run up my spine. But, it also made me want to learn more about this fascinating story. As luck would have it, guess who had met Pablo, knew his story well, and also knew many of the places that Pablo had lived? You guessed it……our very own driver…..Germán!! At that instant, Germán became our designated driver for the next day in Medellin. He agreed that he would not only take us on a tour of Medellin but would take us on the Pablo Escobar tour of Medellin!! What a stroke of luck! We were elated.
It was already 8 p.m. when we checked into the Park 10 hotel in the El Poblado area which is supposedly the best area in which to stay. The weekend rate is $100 per night and includes a buffet breakfast. As you can see from the photos it is a very nice hotel.
By now, it was dinner time so we got directions to a popular restaurant area in a park near the hotel. We walked about 8 blocks through some fairly dark streets, but never felt unsafe because there were a few other people out on the streets. Around the park were tons of open air restaurants and bars. We found a table on the sidewalk and just sat there and watched the people. It was Saturday night in Medellin!!
To celebrate surviving Bogotá we decided to splurge on the food. We both had steak and dessert. The steak was about $18. After dinner we walked back to the hotel in the dark in a light rain. We had a big day ahead of us. The excitement was building.
Next-Medellin, the Pablo Escobar tour.