Fondest memory: When we left the museum, we were ready to part ways with Daniel no matter how charming he was. We figured he was going to expect some kind of tip for his “services” at some point. He asked if we were hungry and we said yes so he wanted to show us his favorite restaurant. He explained that many places in town were tourist traps and more expensive. We reluctantly went with him and I was already expecting to pay for his meal. The place was very much a local cheapie and we had something small to eat. Daniel had a fruit drink so I really didn't mind paying for him but surprisingly not only would he not let me pay for him but he insisted on paying for us!
We were ready to go back to our hotel and though Daniel was a charmer, finally ready to go our separate ways. We thanked him for his help and wished him all the best, even though we assumed we'd be running into him every day since it was not such a big town and the main square was between our hotel and anything else in town we'd likely be going to see. The truth was we never saw him again and though we had initially dreaded having to go through the whole process on a daily basis we kind of missed not seeing him and his ever smiling face. We hope he's back in Bogota with his girl by now, enjoying its relative warmth though Tunja will miss its adoptive son and his goodwill towards those that take the time to have a look at one of Colombia's most authentic towns.
- Museum Visits
Favorite thing: One of the big surprises of Tunja were its charming colonial mansions that have been turned into excellent museums. There are two right on the main square and not to be missed if in town. There are even tours done in English.
Fondest memory: We were walking across Tunja's main square our first day in town and though we tried to avoid what we thought was a hawker, we could not quite get around this very persistent one. His name was Daniel and he was a member of some Catholic group that I don't remember. At any rate, it was a youth group of some kind and he was living in Tunja evidently passing the word on to those less informed even though he was truly from Bogota which he seemed to miss. His girl friend was there and also nicer weather. Tunja sounded like a very cold place as described by this Bogota-native and Tunja appeared a bit of a jail sentence to him. His English was excellent and he enjoyed talking to us but we didn't have so much time in town and wanted to move onto some of the town's sights. He insisted on taking us to some and we couldn't manage to talk him out of it. We went to a nearby museum and he secured an English tour for us and even accompanied us on it. The tour was quite good and the tour guide was very happy to have us since Tunja is not exactly a hotbed of English-speaking tourism. (concluded below in Fondest Memory)
- Museum Visits
- Historical Travel
Favorite thing: While Tunja does not lack in beautiful colonial architecture it may not quite live up to the fairly tale-like images of nearby Villa de Leyva. But what it does have is a true authentic feel and an abundance of such foods. The best thing to do is just wander around and eat what looks good. You can't go wrong.
Fondest memory: While many people bypass Tunja as a mere transit hub, we were looking forward to it. From the little we could read about it, the food scene sounded about as authentic as you can find in Colombia. To be honest, that was the biggest reason we were stopping there for a night or two rather than following everyone else to the bus terminal en route to Villa de Leyva or points north. Unfortunately, on arriving, Doreen came down with a stomach bug of some kind and I was out snacking around alone the first evening. That's usually when I find the best stuff and have the unenviable task of describing my exploits and meals to my ailing wife. Tunja proved no disappointment and it seemed no sooner did I find something to snack on and another would come my way. One thing that did just that was the much anticipated almojabana, a cheesy bread-like bun made of yucca, corn, and cheese that makes for a tart treat. I noticed a woman selling them from the window of a crowded hole-in-the-wall restaurant with a steady stream of people buying and devouring them. I got one and knew it would be a daily staple immediately. Of course, snacking around is not nearly as much fun as when you have someone with you that enjoys it just as much and even bragging about the catches loses something after even a day. I was happy to have my wife back at my side and decided to take her to the hole-in-the-wall so we could sit down and have the little delicacies with a fruit shake to wash them down. They lived up to not only my short-term memory but also my description to her. She loved them too. We wound up staying an extra night mostly because she had missed a whole day of snacking and I wasn't complaining about another 24 hours of opportunity either.
- Road Trip
- Budget Travel
- Food and Dining
Favorite thing: begun in 1554,after a lot of interruptions,achieved at the end of 19th century!
so started in mudejar style (islamic influenced style from spain) but every style since has left its mark!
- Adventure Travel