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My Travels: Ibague - Colombia

Catedral de Ibague
It was exciting to visit Ibague, the little city where I was born. The musical capital of Colombia, Although, I can't attest about that, I didn't get any musical talents. :/
I haven't been there in Ibague for about ten years and this time around, my daughter was the one who wanted to know everything about it. She wanted to see the house where I grew up, the school I attended, and pretty much most of the places she has to hear me telling stories about.

Our trip started in Bogota where I was staying for the majority of my vacation. We planned this, our only outing to Ibague, making two or three stops in the way. The first stop was at La Mesa, you can read that post right HERE.

We were back on our way out of La Mesa and heading to Ibague, only 85 miles away. However, we made a quick stop here in Girardot. We were getting kinda hungry, but with the hot steamy weather this town always has in store, we changed our minds to get something refreshing, here in the center of this park! :)
Cristina Garay
Alongside my daughter and the others, two sisters and nephew, not shown, we were waiting for some yummy Cholados to be prepared.
Cholados tent - Girardot
This nice lady was in charge of them...  Cholados are some sort of snow cones mixed with fruits (watermelon, strawberries, mango, etc) and ice cream if wanted. - I liked it a lot!

The road to Ibague was beautiful, way better than what you see in Bogota, the capital.
Once in Ibague, our first stop was the neighborhood where I grew up. This house in the corner and the one to the right was my house. It looks completely different from what I remember them looking back then.
Our family still owns them, but those are rental properties that are getting fixed. We couldn't get inside.
Ibague, Colombia
Standing at the front of the house and looking north is what you see in the picture below. That long wall is the fence delineating the liquor factory in town.
When I lived here, that was an open road, and that long wall was the color of a normal orange brick without a trace of graffiti because there was dense and tall vegetation all alongside it.

I usually had to walk all the way up until the road ends on a hill. Then, continue for about a mile and a half to get to my high school.
Ibague, Colombia
Those were the type of stories my daughter wanted to hear while looking at the exact locations.

This little street on the other side of our house was the place where we, as kids, played the most!
At that time, I got inside every single house you see here. Playing with friends is always lots of fun!

You see the orange house on the right? That's where for the first time I saw a TV! They allowed us to go watch some tv shows there. I also remember the family being big fans of everything Mexico, they had those huge mariachi hats and costumes. We thought they were super cool. :)
My abuelita's house is not pictured here, but it's the last one, or the first one in this picture on the left side. I had to do many trips from my home there. What I remember the most about my abuelita's place were the many trees, plants, and herbs she had in the garden. Nowadays it's a carpentry shop. All the plants are gone. :(
Barrio El Arado - Ibague, Colombia
After many stories and not a single familiar face, we got in the car to stroll all-around Ibague.  The first place we went was my high school, The INEM, but it was closed.
Then, we went to the center of Ibague, the cathedral is always a good place to visit.
Ibague cathedral
 So many beautiful details... The arches, the columns, the ceiling...
ceiling medallion
 Those stained glass windows are definitely my favorite part.
Stained glass windows
In front of the cathedral, this park brought, once again, happy memories. It's the place our parents brought us to rent tricycles to ride on. :D
 The government building a block down the road.
Gobernacion de Ibague
 Further down the road, the theater where my high school graduation ceremony took place.
Ibague, Colombia
We strolled down the main street or Carrera Tercera were just as always, many people were going up and down the road.

We then went to another close-by location with lots of meaning to us... Parque Centenario.
Cristina GAray
It was my favorite park. Oh, I have so many great memories of me, playing there in the many steps all around the park.
These steps were not as colorful then, they now resemble the famous Selaron staircase.
Ibague - Tolima - Colombia
Towards the center of the park is where my daughter snapped this picture of me.
Cristina GAray
Well, friends, I wish I had taken more pictures, but I was telling these and many more stories to my daughter who was all ears. I had a wonderful time reminiscing about it all.

One of the things that stroked me the most was the distances. When I lived there, going to school or other different places seemed like a loooong distance. This time around, everything seemed so close! :D  I guess that as kids, we see everything huge, big, tall, impossible! :D
Has that happened to you too?

Now tell me, where were you born? Have you been there lately?

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  1. I really enjoyed your pics. So nice you were able to take your daughte r to see your roots!

    1. Aww thanks so much Joanne!! I missed so many picture opportunities, but I was so busy taking it all in and talking to my daughter. She enjoyed the trip a lot, it was the highlight of our entire vacation. I'd probably had to do it all over again with my son! :)

  2. Love this tour! Colorful and warm. So glad you shared!

  3. Very bright and colorful photos. I've never been to Colombia before. Ibague, the musical capital of Colombia, is very impressive!

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