Monserrate is the mountain peak dominating Bogotá where a church was built in the 17th century. It was top of my to-do list. Why?
1st memories from long ago (I mention it in my novel BTW);
2nd the panoramic views of the city and the Andes Mountains beyond are fantastic.
……………and 3rd getting there is fun.
You can ride the cable car (teleferico), the funicular rail or by climbing, the route preferred by pilgrims. NB: The steep climb up is safest in a group or on Sundays when there are plenty of people walking to the top. We took the teleferico up and the funicular down.
Bogotá has grown by leaps and bounds and was hardly recognizable to me, so it was comforting that Monserrate had not changed.
At 10,341 ft above the sea level however, I found myself a bit lightheaded – that mostly passed after drinking a bottle of water and having a snack.
Sue and I knew each other in elementary school and each had memories of going to Monserrate with our families. The four of us – well six actually – they brought their nephew and his lovely wife along too – had a great time exploring together.
There is an old restaurant at the top, Casa Santa Clara, serving tipico food in a gracious old Colombian atmosphere at reasonable prices. (After viewing the lines to the bathrooms outside, I decided the restroom was worth the price of the lunch in itself!) I’m glad our friend Joe was hungry and suggested it – our meals were very good. Try the ajaico (chicken stew with potatoes, corn, capers, herbs and avocado). Also be sure to try arepas (corn cakes) and empanandas ( sort of meat fritters) while in Colombia – and I love the platano (plantain) and yuca. (Have a favorite yourself? Comments, suggestions, recipes? Tell us!)
BTW if you fall for ajaico you can make it yourself if you buy the Colombian herb guascas – available packaged in most all markets there. www.mycolombianrecipes.com/ajiaco-bogotano-
Have you ever been to Monserrate? Bogota? Colombia?