On first glance, Bogotá isn’t a particularly Irish city. Or on second, or third, or fourth glance, for that matter.
But, during today’s bike tour with two young Irishwomen, we found Bogotá’s ‘Irish trail.’
First stop was the National University, whose walls are covered by radical leftist street art, including a huge mural of Argentina-born revolutionary Che Guevara, whose ancestors included immigrants from Galway, Ireland.
After visits to a coffee factory and some sculpture parks, we walked though Bogotá’s historic central cemetery, where we found several tombs with the very Irish surname ‘O’Leary.’ Perhaps these were relatives of Daniel Florencio O’Leary, an Irishman who fought with revolutionary leader Simón Bolívar and conserved The Liberator’s personal papers.
Then, after passing through the red light district, we visited a fruit market, where the Irish taught a fruit vendor how to say ‘apple’ in Gaelic, which is uul.
We then played tejo, Colombia’s national sport, which may soon be big in Ireland.
On the way back we passed this ‘Irish pastry’ shop. But the Irishwoman said they’d visited another Pasteleria Irlandesa and that the pastries didn’t seem Irish at all.
Finally, back in La Candelaria, we were stopped by emerald vendors. Appropriate enough, since Ireland is the ‘Emerald Isle.’
Oh, I’d almost forgotten one more thing Bogotá and Ireland have in common: lots of rain!