Colombia travel blog by Mark Berman -
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The White City / Photo Ideas
I have visited and stayed in Popayan twice now, in 2010 and 2012. Popayan is known as the 'white city', like Arequipa
in Peru and Sucre
because of the color of the stone that the buildings are contructed of. It is pleasant to stroll around the streets and take it all in and there
are some obvious things to take photos of and also, if you have an artistic eye, some not so obvious things to photograph. The not so obvious photos
would be things such as the interesting shapes you see, doorways, windows, street lamps and people wearing colorful cloths against the white backdrop.
On the other hand there are cathedrals, bell towers, the plaza and statues. The main plaza is surrounded by whiteness - the clocktower, the cathedral
(Catedral Basilica Nuestra Senora de la Asuncion) and other buildings and shops. In the center of the plaza is a statue of Francisco Jose de Caldas
(1768-1816) - a lawyer and geographer. The city has some nice churches - Iglesia de San Jose, Iglesia de la Ermita (the oldest in Popayan) and Iglesia
Santo Domingo. There is the arched brick Humillidero bridge and the old El Puente de Custodia bridge.
Walk Up Belen Hill
At the end of a street there are stairs leading
up Belen hill to church Iglesia de Belen. It has a shrine beside the stairs set in rock of 2 figures, one at the top and one below looking up towards
the other. The stairway up to the church has many statues along the way and there were several groups of young men sitting on the cobblestone pathway
having a smoke. The walk up only takes about 5-10 minutes and you get a good view of the city once you have ascended. The church itself has one bell
tower with 3 bells of different sizes on the left side and an arched doorway, there is a big cross on the ground on the right side. The church faces
the north/west. In the distance towards the left of the front of the church is a hill with a statue of a man on horseback, this is Morro de Tulcan hill
and the man is the founder of the city. Popayan is a nice place to visit for a night or 2 and is quite safe. There are some interesting places to visit
in the surrounding area like Silvia which has markets on Tuesdays, Purace, San Juan, Tierradentro, Coconuco and San Agustin.
Sit On The Right For The Bus To Cali
From Popayan I travelled by bus 3hrs north to Cali
on both occasions. Sit on the right side of the bus for spectacular views down into the valleys!