Hello again world. Currently we are in San Juan del Sur, but here is the updates on the trip past.
So Day 11 in Granada. Today we toured the city. We slept in lateish in our super swank hotel room with air conditioning. This being the only time on the trip we´re doing this as it cost twice as much as anywhere else we have stayed. After a quick and lousy continental breakfast (apparently that means toast and coffee here) we checked out of the hotel and headed over to Hostal Oasis after dropping off our big bag of laundry on the way. Delivering your laundry is a fun little novelty that I´ve never done before and could get used to. Eventually we made it to Oasis which is deceivingly large. The door on the outside has an itty bitty sign in normal computer font saying Hostal Oasis. Once you get inside it opens up into a really big place that is easily two or three house lots at home. There is the typical open garden/courtyard in the middle of the place and hammocks all around it to lounge in.
We moved in and then headed out on the town to explore. We started at the park and went east mainly. First off was the big church of the town. It is very nicely painted and it would seem that they redo it quite frequently. We spent lots of time checking out the outside and then went inside and saw tons of cool work on the roof and archways, a lot of statues, a lot a lot of statues, and stainglass, etc..churches at home look nothing like these. A catholic church down here is one of the nicest, if not the nicest building around.
After the church we walked just up the street to the north and had lunch at a very nice little cafe overlooking the cathedral. While eating we watched them clean up and tear down one of the stages from the giant horse party the night before. After lunch we headed across the street to the cultural centre and took a look around. It had some interesting artwork inside, in particular was a face made of floor tiles that you climbed up to the second floor to look down and see properly. There was a music school in this city block sized building as well and for a while I watched a guy practing some piano. Later on I went back and played a little myself, so now I´ve played piano in Nicaragua.
In the back of the building are a few different artist´s studios with a ton of paintings, photos, and sculptures for purchase. Lindsay fell in love with a door, a picture of one to be exact. We didn´t have enough money on us so we had to come back again the next day with some cash. (a very expensive picture if you ask me
Next stop was another church heading east. Lonely Planet describes it as a having a beautiful robin´s egg blue paint job. It´s faded to almost white. Unless they paint it soon, don´t go expecting to see it that way. None the less it was another very cool structure that we have tons of photos of. You can spend pretty much all day just looking at the churches and buildings in between them in all of these cities we´ve been to.
It was stinking hot, as usual, so we stepped into the Garden Cafe for some drinks. They were very tasty if a little on the pricey side for Nicaragua and the service very slow. It was an American run place to boot and so we didn´t stay long as we´re wanting more authentic experiences. Also why we didn´t go into Kathy´s Waffle House (very Nicaraguan!)
We then made a much farther walk down a cobble stone road, Calzada I belive, to the last church on the east of Granada. The road is closed to traffic, well most people obey that rule, and is lined with shops, a school, restaurants, etc.. A very happening place on weekends and nights I´m sure. While we were walking it a storm started coming in and the wind was blowing all of the dirt and dust stirred up from last nights party into our eyes. We toughed it out and made it to the church before it started raining.
This church was the most run down looking, which made it one of the coolest to see. I love the old black burn marks on them and moss type stuff. Everyone around must think we´re crazy white people for walking to every church and taking photos of it. We take photos of them looking at us once in a while as well:)
Eventually the afternoon rains came so we mozeyed back to a bakery we had passed and picked up some food. The bakeries here are great and much better priced than back home. Baking is too expensive in Canada, Make it Cheaper bakers out there. We were running out of day light at this point so we quickly walked many blocks back towards the hostal to the Merced Church. This one apparently has a tower you can climb and look out over the city on, it was closed so we´ll try again tomorrow. We also spotted a massage/masaje place on the corner that we´re going to try and come back to tomorrow as it looks pretty good.
Stopped at the bank, got poured on by the rain, and ran into a restaruant, Los Bacaditos, for dinner. It totes itself as homecooking so I wanted to try it out. Food was alright, cheap as most always, and filled the tummy good. Made our way back to the hostal and later that evening took advantage of our free calls home to call mine and Lindsay´s families. I even took a quick dip in the pool just so I could say I did. Did some hammock lounging and went to bed pleasantly exhausted after a nice day touring the town and soaking up the culture. Tomorrow we´ve got a tour that we stopped and arranged on our day of walking. It should be good if it doens´t rain too much….