Bogot√° 3: Monserrate

This album follows on from Bogot√° 2: Colonial Bogot√°

With the morning looking like THIS from our hotel room we knew the thing to do was…
…to come here.
They tell you this well AFTER you have paid and are waiting to enter the cable car cabin. (But then like most everything in Bogot√° the ride costs little.)
It was still sunny up there. But you see what I mean about cloud cover… (I did manage to pick up a spot of sunburn on my nose. We are high up, and the sun is equatorial.)
Plaza Bolívar (the central square) with La Catedral and behind it the parliament building.
There has been a chapel on the summit since 1641. As with the Iglesia de las Nieves its current incarnation dates from the 1920s but unlike the Iglesia de las Nieves looks best from afar. It does feature what I can only describe as Panelled Pillars, which I have to admit I have never seen before.
The lush forest cover on these mountains seems to be mostly eucalypts. On 19th- and 20th-c. photographs, even taken as recently as the 1960s, the slopes are completely bare and look badly eroded.
Behind the chapel is a kind of makeshift covered market with souvenir stalls and street food vendors and cheap eateries.
At first we thought the mules parked behind the market ‚ÄĒ many more than you can see here ‚ÄĒ were for visitors to ride. Then we realised they are to transport the vendors and their wares, to save the cost of the cable car. (In addition to the cable car there is also an older cog railway which still operates at certain times. Other than that the only way up seems to be a footpath, paved but with lots of stairs so unsuited for vehicles.)
Back at the foot of the hill (with the chapel on top now under a dark grey cloud): the Iglesia de Nuestra Se√Īora de las Aguas.
Iglesia de las Aguas. Not a 1920s replacement but the 1665 original.

Next album — Bogot√° 3: Colonial Bogot√° II