Tag Archives: Disneyland

Zipaquirá Salt Cathedral

On our way into Bogotá, we stopped in the former salt mines of Zipaquirá, the Disneyland of underground former salt mines. It seems a cathedral was built underground purely to attract tourists. Despite this sense of the whole place being artificial (though it is used for religious ceremonies) I was slightly awestruck at the scale of the underground cathedral.

Photos do not give enough credit to this impressive structure 200 metres underground. The cathedral and surrounding tunnels are memorable by themselves, but what really made the visit was the guide. He was a headcase. To this day, I cannot remember much of what he told us in his broken English, but I do remember his crazy arm-waving and manic movement. He even invited us to lick the walls of the former salt mine, and gave us a demonstration himself. This being Colombia, I’m sure salt wasn’t the only white stuff he’d had that day.

Mainly due to his hyperactivity, we thoroughly enjoyed our tour of the underground. Even if we didn’t learn a huge amount about it. Despite not being very religious myself, if I ever find myself in Colombia for Sunday Mass, I know which church to attend.

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Worst Driving Award: Panama City

The roads around here generally aren’t to the same standard as Europe, for obvious reasons, but the driving style would get you banned off European roads within a few months. The worst I have seen is Panama City. Every taxi ride should be advertised as if it were its own rollercoaster at Disneyland. You’d be amazed to discover Panama has no current Formula 1 drivers, although considering the majority of cars have major dents or scratches, that may not be too much of a surprise.

You take your life into your own hands as a pedestrian when crossing the road. I usually have no problem crossing roads at any point (a bad habit from living in Dublin’s city centre) but here I always stick to the crossing points. Also if there is a local person crossing at the same time I tend to shadow their movements. They know what they’re doing, right?