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Photographer's Note

The roof of the La Quinta shopping centre in downtown Bucaramanga retracts, allowing it to be open to fresh air and sunshine on nice days, yet closed in case of rain or inclement weather.

The weather in Bucaramanga is usually pretty nice, so it stays open a lot.

The shops in La Quinta are mostly the same ones you will find in upscale shopping malls throughout the world selling some of the same global brands. But there is also a good art shop selling locally produced works.

As I took this photo, I was accosted by a security guard who told me that I was not allowed to take photographs inside the shopping centre. But, when I told him I was a tourist, his tone changed completely and he gave me official permission to take as many pictures as I like. That it wasn't obvious I was a tourist to start with surprised me. Perhaps it is an indication of how few tourists visit Bucaramanga now.

Santander is trying to shake the old reputation of Colombia and turn itself into a tourist destination.

I was stopped from taking pictures on three different occasions in Colombia. I really don't know what they fear from photographers using little pocket digital cameras.

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Additional Photos by Peter Jennings (Geo) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 208 W: 55 N: 182] (1245)
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