I have lived in Bogotá for more than 3 months and visited a total of 4 months before moving here. So, after more than 7 months in Bogotá, I finally felt good enough to go visit one of the top tourist attractions in Bogotá – Cerro de Monserrate. Cerro de Monserrate translates as Monserate Hill. Now where I am from, Monserrate is much more than a hill (lol) it is a mountain. Monserrate is part of the Eastern mountain ranges of The Andes. So I would have named it Montaña de Monserrate (Monserrate Mountain), but they did not ask me!
My friend Ricardo was visiting from Cali, Colombia and since I had someone who could help my old, disabled ass… I was finally able to visit! There are 3 ways to get to the top: 1, Pilgrimage – walk up the mountain (not going to happen!!); 2, Funicular – Train up tracks on the mountain (not running this day) and 3, Cable Railway – A sky-ride on cables to the top (fastest and easiest). So off on the cable railway we go. As the cable car ascends… the enormity of the city of Bogotá starts to become obvious. The top of Monserrate is at an elevation of over 10,000 feet (3152 meters), that is almost 2 miles above sea level. The city of Bogotá is at 8,600 could be called the 1.5 mile high city!! The views are AWESOME! (http://www.cerromonserrate.com/eng_files/index_eng.html)
Atop the mountain is a sanctuary, a monastery, the remains of a previous sanctuary, restaurants and flea market style shopping for souvenirs. There is park like landscaping with flowers that bloom constantly because of the relatively constant spring like temperatures. Along with the beautifully landscaped trail are viacrucis (sculptures) that commemorates the events of Christ’s walk to the crucifixion. For me, the beauty speaks more of God than all the religious “stuff”…but it is a location with a history of people making religious pilgrimages. I was able to experience a clean, freeing energy here and will plan a return just to spend time relaxing and enjoying the views and positive energy.