Venezuela's Fourth Largest City
"Agri-Industrial City at the end of the tracks..."
Venezuela's only train goes from Puerto Cabello to Barquisimeto, where processed food stuffs, such as sugar cane, cotton, and the arepa corn flour, can be loaded and distributed to the world. Capitol of Estado Lara, Barquisimeto recently built a trolley system for its rapid transit, and in general the city is not unlikeable. The most distinctive landmark in the city is a clock tower known as El Obelisco which was built to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the city. The image here shows it from the freeway that cuts through town. Visitors will often travel this way enroute between Caracas and Maracaibo, or more rarely between Caracas and Merida. Barquisimeto claims to be Venezuela's "music capital", a dubious claim since Venezuela is so rich in musical styles of all sorts, but the "cuatro", a four string guitar similar in size to the ukelele may have been invented here, because there is a monument in the shape of a giant cuatro within the city. The cuatro, along with maracas and the unique hollow body harp make up the basic combo for traditonal Venezuelan music known as "Joropo". This type of music is very famous within the country, but is certainly underappreciated in the world of music. However, as mentioned, there are many other musical traditions worthy of world attention that were born in Venezuela too.
"Quibor Valley is Interesting for Tourists"
The region is very dry and nearby is the Quibor Valley where tourists in the area will want to go. The town of Quibor is both center for the richest agricultural region in the country, seconded by Merida, but is also a productive center for creative ceramic pottery of distinctive design. We have purchased this pottery during several visits, and have found this pottery for sale in gift shops of Europe and the Middle East. Also, the town of Tintorero, a village of cotton weaving is worth the tourist visit. Finally, El Tocuyo, a very old town and former capital of Venezuela for a short period has a colonial era church worth a photo. Unfortunately, I don't have many photos of these places, so enjoy what I have until the next VT member make a better page.