Above Beautiful Medellin
By Larry Rose
Photos by Larry Rose
Above urbane and sophisticated Medellin, Colombia, is another plane. The mountains that bound the Andean valley city on the east and west have rilly plateau tops, and there, high up on the east side, you will find the towns of Altos de las Palmas, Santa Elena (home of the flower bearers or Sillateros of the annual Feria de las Flores) and the EcoPark Arvi.
My fiancee, Beatriz, and I were invited to spend Sunday at the finca or country home, of friends Aylin and Gustavo. They have just finished building and are decorating their large three bedroom estancia along a well-paved road winding around Alto de Las Palmas. As we approached in our taxi from town, a procession of Beamers, Mercedes's and Volvos passed us going downhill. Some folks up here are doing very well!!!! And all have very nice primary or second homes.
The Great Room at Aylin and Gustavo's Finca. Window walls and fine woodwork everywhere.
Dinner in the late afternoon had Aylin and the housekeeper cooking for about two hours with resulting green salads with platanos, the local version of a rich three cheese lasagne (without any tomato sauce!) , and a coffee-cinnamon flavored flan. Chilean white ordinario wine accompanied the main course.
We all left the housekeeper behind for the after dinner paseo as the temperatures slowly fell from the typical year round daytime temperature of 74 degrees. And since we were 1500 feet above Medellin, eventually the temperatures fell to a nighttime 55 degrees.
On the walk were Beatriz and I, our daughter, little seven year-old Andrea, and her new friends, the housekeeper's little sons, Luis y Juan, Aylin and Gustavo, friend Dianita...and the beagle, Fidelio. And also accompanying us were scenic displays of flowers, fruit trees, parrots and lorakeets, and semitropical woods including bananas, and my favorite road sign, CURVAS PELIGROSAS.
Beatriz with BB cap prepping for the Paseo.
Around the fire on our return from the paseo Aylin served a rich hot chocolate into which they put saltines and farmer's cheese to melt together and eat with a spoon...new to me. And of course, the best of local coffee was in the pot nice and hot. Gustavo started telling jokes and everyone was in stitches. They say that the final level of language fluency is understanding and laughing at jokes. I ‘m not anywhere near there. But I’m good at smiling.
Before we left we all went out to look at the stars. Medellin is often lazily hazy so that astronomical viewing has to be done up on the heights away from the city lights. There was Venus following the sunset and standing straight up slicing thru the plane of the ecliptic was the Via Lactea, the Milky Way.
The road back, by the sky road that connects Rio Negro and the Medellin airport to the city, the Via de las Palmas, showed Medellin at night from high above warmly lit with millions of lights below us. It was a grand day at a different level in Medellin.