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The capital surprised me by being more modern and safer than I had imagined.  I enjoyed a visit to the Emerald Trading Center, it must be the biggest collection of precious green stones in the World.  The center is full of the usual attractions: churches, museums and so on.  I took some photos of ordinary people in everyday situations instead, as architecture is not outstanding in Bogota.


One day I went to Laguna Guatavita with friends who were kind enough to let me stay in their apartment in Bogota.  The lake is situated in a crater of a mountain, although opinions differ on it´s origin.  Here the legend of El Dorado originated.  For centuries, native Muisca Indians threw gold offering into the lake.  When the colonizers arrived, they tried to drain the lake by digging a canal.  Many objects were stolen but some were recovered and are in Bogota´s Gold Museum, including the treasure illustrating "El Dorado" ritual, as well as thousands of other gold objects (see photos).

Villa de Leyva

Because April and May are rainy season in Colombia, I decided to go back to Venezuela. On the way I stopped in a beautiful colonial village of Villa de Leyva. It has one of the biggest Plazas I have seen, and the latest version of "Zorro" is being filmed there. Fantastic photo opportunities presented themselves, and I was snapping like crazy! The photos don´t show present day Colombia, but its not often that people dress in old clothes and don´t mind me photographing them.