Most people might have not even heard of this place before, at least I haven’t before even entering Bolivia – Santa Cruz de la Sierra. It is with over 1.5 million people the biggest city of Bolivia and located in the East right before entering the jungle on either side but the West. The name means Holy Cross of the Mountains which doesn’t really make sense to me because it’s more a selva-place (jungle). It is a surprisingly modern city, clearly influenced by nearby Argentina and Brazil, and also serves as industrial hot spot of Bolivia. We haven’t really thought about visiting it but as we arrived with the night bus at 7 am it gave us plenty of time to stroll around in the center and just enjoy a relaxing Sunday there before continuing our trip.
First thing we noticed when we got out of the bus was the humid heat (at 7 am!!!) that hit our bodies and we were sweating immediately, still wearing long sleeved clothing from our ride through the Andes. So we changed and refreshed in the bathroom of the bus terminal and looked for a luggage storage. After getting some basic information of the city we made our way to the center. The bad thing was that we didn’t realize when to get off the bus. Usually getting to the center you notice a change in the way the buildings are, but this time it all just looked the same. Surprisingly modern, however! But the little city bus took us out of the city again and we were able to see the industrial part of the city with a bunch of shopping centers, car houses and other big enterprises. It reminded me a little bit of the US with all these huge and separate buildings. Taking the same bus back to the center we finally managed to get off at the right time but the inner city seemed to be dead on Sunday mornings. Except when we reached the main square where children chased pigeons and old women sold newspapers. There was even a little “farmers market” and Lars could buy himself a new necklace as he lost the shark tooth one. :-( We had breakfast in a nice little café we found near the plaza and walked around for some time, explored the local cemetery – still amazed by how big it was – , and climbed up the cathedral tower.
Most of the time though we hid from the heat, either under a tree in a park or in a restaurant and talked about anything and everything! I think this is one of the best parts about traveling with a partner! You get to experience so many things and you are actually able to reflect on them together and share your ideas about all the topics. I wouldn’t want to trade those conversations for anything! <3
Hey, I will put down a selection of the few pictures we took on that day and wish you a good rest of your week!