Marquez spent the first eight years of his life in the town, living with his grandparents. Writes Juan Forero in the Washington Post:
It was here that a young García Márquez heard ghost stories, fairy tales and one adventure yarn after another, drawn from the region's rich and often blood-soaked history. The inspiration led him to become one of the leading writers in the style known as magical realism, with its penchant for weaving sharply drawn realism with dreamlike, even preposterous twists, all presented in a deadpan tone.Marquez arrived in style on the Macondo Express decorated with yellow butterflies that have come to symbolise Macondo and a train-load of musicians, singers, friends and family - and even a government minister. Forero describes the scene:
Thousands of people had lined the route, screaming "Gabo, Gabo, Gabo" and holding up giant posters featuring the irreverent author's smiling face framed by enormous glasses. They threw confetti, set off fireworks and let loose yellow balloons. Brass bands played and pint-size schoolgirls performed, dressed as butterflies.Marquez' triumphant return marks the launch of a new passenger service which it is hoped with bring much needed tourism to the area. A holiday with a little magical realism sprinkled in, anyone?
(Pics nicked from Guardian (top) and the Age (bottom))