There are two major events I’ve been waiting to see here in Medellin. One of them is the Christmas lights, known to be some of the most spectacular in the world. That will have to wait a few more months. The other was the Feria de las Flores that started a couple of weeks ago.
What is Feria de las Flores?
Well, it’s a week long flower festival held in Medellin every year. It has it’s historical roots from the days of Spanish occupation. There are parties and parades galore. You can see the entire schedule of this year’s events here if you want to know just how know just how much goes on, but I’m going to jump right into what I did.
Before I get started, I want to point out that there were a few disappointments with the week. Not that the Feria de las Flores wasn’t totally awesome, but a rainy day and some other obstacles that I’ll get into as I go.
Feria de las Flores Cabalgata – The horse parade
This was pretty much the main event and the festival opener for me. I actually got to ride in the parade and it was friggin’ awesome. I had to rent a horse for this and I spent several days the week prior going up into the farmland to practice riding and get used to the beast. The parade began at noon and went down the major street bordering the river. I sipped a rum and fruit punch mixture while strolling down the city street with crowds cheering. The ladies on the sidelines would call your attention and hold up a score card rating you and your horse (I got some 10’s alright).
The only real disappointment to this event was my photography. I decided not to take my camera for two reasons. First, there was a good chance this horse was going to pummel me and break everything attached to me including my ribs. Ribs are cheaper than my camera. Second, if it started raining I would have no shelter to duck into to keep my camera dry. So I was stuck with iPhone photos and every time I tried to take a picture the horse would bounce around. Eventually I decided to put the phone away and just enjoy the day. So the photos aren’t all that great from the Cabalgata, but the experience was awesome.
We finished the Gabalgata around 5:00 pm and were actually some of the first people back. We stopped for dinner and then caught a cab back to La 70, the main street about a block from my apartment. On the way back we drove over the parade which was still going in full force. And that was just the beginning of Feria de las Flores day 1.
When we arrived at La 70, I found out that there was yet another parade going on. This one was high school bands marching and playing down La 70. Still wearing a semi cowboy hat and smelling like a horses ass we took a seat at La Recova, a bar owned by my best friend here. I got up once in a while to look at the marching bands while we sat there drinking. Before I knew it, I had switched tables to sit with 3 pretty girls (OK, only two were pretty) and we were downing bottles of rum and aguardiente.
I’m going to leave you with some final photos to check out and continue this soon. Be on the look out for part two of Feria de las Flores!
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