It was one of those lazy Sundays. Coming from Europe, the minute the sun comes out, friends get together around a picnic with delicious wine, cheeses, meats and what not, to lay out in the grass and enjoy the warmth of spring or summer.
A few friends proposed the idea and when I extended the invitation to several Colombian friends, their first reaction was “In Parque Simón Bolívar?!!” Ok so I took that it was not the common plan, but they understood we were a bunch of guiris, and agreed to join in for the experience.
We did our collective grocery shopping of assorted cheese, meats and wine and headed off to the park. The parking of Parque Simón Bolívar was completely full, so we parked in a small open air mall close by and walked with our groceries in hand.
Street food vendors lined the entrance of the park with their corn on the cob, salpicón
and other such snacks for people to enjoy. Although very big, it was surprisingly crowded with large groups of families enjoying their day off
. I was led to understand that this was an activity of lower ‘estratos’
which would explain the surprise of the Colombians in our group when I proposed the idea.
Anyhow, we found a half sunny, half shady spot by the lake and started unpacking our lunch. I can say that although the park scenery is nothing to brag about, we all had a good time. You could even hop on a boat to cruise the lake of Parque Simón Bolívar if your heart so desired. The only bother were strangers approaching us every hour with some reason to ask us for money (Not having enough to pay for gas to pick up their wife in the hospital, being sick, etc.) Sadly enough, this is part of living in a developing country and hanging out in public spaces.
Although we had a great time, the overall feel was really quite different from a picnic in the park in Europe. If you are in visiting Bogotá and wondering whether to visit the park or not, I suggest spending your time on other sites. Parque Simón Bolívar is just a large space with grass and a few trees.
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