Christmas Eve Night in Medellin

February 3, 2010 · Posted in personal, photos, travel · Comment 

That night we spent Christmas with Ana’s other side of the family. It was a very relaxed atmosphere while Ana’s grandmother handed out gifts. Ana’s family got me some 12 year old rum made in Medellín and one of Ana’s uncles gave me a bottle of wine. I’m not sure what kind of impression I made on everyone, but apparently they think I like alcohol. It’s true, but still.

Ana and I had gotten everyone a basic gift of candy from the US. It wasn’t much, but I had never met anyone and she has a bunch of little cousins. Besides, the suitcases were full of gifts for everyone, even my suitcases, so mostly we just said things were from both of us.

Later that night we set off more balloons with candles in them. The sky over Medellin was filled with at least 4 or 5 other balloons that had be set off nearby. Some were obvious what they were while others looked like large stars twinkling in the night.

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Christmas Eve Morning in Colombia

February 2, 2010 · Posted in personal, photos, travel · Comment 

Colombia is a Catholic country, and as every Catholic country I’ve been to, they celebrate Christmas on the 24th. Also, the gifts are delivered by baby Jesus, not Santa Claus. Hungarian Christmas is similar that way, but in Medellin, Colombia, the temperature is a perfect 75 degrees and sunny, so it really doesn’t feel like Christmas to me as a Hungarian Christmas would.

In Ana’s family, its a tradition to set off solar balloons and balloons with little candles in them to set them off at night. This side of the family had a big penguin that looked like Tux. Enjoy the photos below! Read more

Colombia for Christmas

November 20, 2009 · Posted in news, personal · Comment 

Last year, I spent Christmas in Slovakia. We did a ton of skiing in several countries including Slovakia, Austria and then in France. Two years before that I spent it in Hungary and then traveled alone for two weeks in Germany and Switzerland and back to Hungary via Slovakia. Well, not entirely alone since I met a ton of great people along the way. This year however, we’re planning on spending it in Colombia, in the home city of my girlfriend, Ana.

There’s enough for me to see in Medellin, since I’ve never been to South America before, or a Spanish speaking country, but we’ll be traveling throughout Colombia during our brief vacation. Around Christmas will obviously be reserved for spending time with her family but before and after that we have a few excursions planned.

Colombia is a Catholic country (even though a lot of them are scared of how religious the United States seems) and as a result, the city is full of lights and other decorations during this special time. Since towns in the United States are generally discouraged from putting up Christmas specific decorations, it’ll be something entirely different to see an unabashed version of a city Christmas display. Hungary has always put up lights in Budapest, with Christmas trees and other Christmas specific things, but from what I’ve seen from photos, Medellin Christmas lights are far more spectacular.

We’re still looking for a scuba resort where we can dive for a few days for less than $1000. You can do that in Florida in the Keys for half that price, including hotel, but for some reason, we’re having a hard time finding a good/cheap one in Colombia. I really don’t want to spend that much money right now, though if we had to, it’d totally be worth it to swim with whale sharks and huge manta rays.

Other than that, we are planning on visiting some colonial era Colombian towns, the coffee region (with Juan Valdez, the guy with the donkey on all the Colombian coffee) and various other things unique to South America or Colombia. We don’t have a whole lot of time, but we’re going to make the most out of the time we have. You can be assured there will be a ton of photos when I get back.