This is a city to watch in Colombia.
The wall of windows provides a great view while exercising. Approximately four stories up a part of the city lays before you. Beyond, green lush mountains rise up. During the day there are white clouds. In the morning and evening orange traces from the rising or setting sun play between the peaks.
Ok, in reality it will be a future great view while working out . As of this writing in October of 2013 the Bodytech exercise club is still in the construction process.
In an earlier writing about Miraflores I told how an engineer friend of mine sometimes just calls me up at the last minute to say we are leaving to check out a job he has been contracted for. This time we went to Ibagué, a city of approximately one million people about a three hour drive from Bogotá.
Founded in 1550 the city is now the capital of the department (equivalent to a state in the USA) of Tolima. Ibagué is considered to have one of the best potentials for future business in the country. They are focusing on tourism as a part of that growth. So, there is a good possibility that visitors to Colombia will want to go there.
Many people consider the city to be the Music Capital of Colombia. The conservatory of Tolima, the National Pagent Folklore and the numerous artistic pieces referring to music offer proof of that title.
My friend and I showed our credentials to the guard at the entrance to the construction site. We changed into steel-toed shoes and dawned our hard hats, known as cascos in Spanish. However our first stop was not the site itself but a covered area about 20 yards long and 10 yards wide filled with tables and benches made of two inch thick rough cut wood. At one end was a kitchen. This is where workers take their meals. We partook of the breakfast consisting of caldo de costilla (a colombian soup), rice, egg, beef and an arepa.
This centro commercial (mall) named Gran Estación is still under construction. Bodytech in on the top floor. It necessitated that we climb outside scaffolding to the fourth floor. Workers were everywhere and hustling. I was told that they are working three shifts in an attempt to open by December.
Gran Estación is a beginning of the future growth coming to Ibagué. It is to be the first large mall in this regional capital city. Residents I spoke with are very excited. Businesses they currently have to drive to Bogotá to shop at will be available in their city.
We did not have time to really check out the city. But in talking with residents, and considering that Ibagué has temperatures between 64 degrees and 82 degrees all year long, I agree with those anticipating a growth. Gran Estación is leading the direction and just the beginning.
For those interested in checking out the city a little more, their website is also in English. Just click on the flag of Great Britain on the right side of the page to get English.