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Granada Nicaragua

NICARAGUA | Sunday, 13 July 2008 | Views [562]

cafes in colorSituated on the shores of Lake Nicaragua (also known as Lake Cocibolca) at the foot of the Monbacho Volcano, Granada is Nicaragua’s oldest colonial city and probably isn’t largest tourist draw. Despite the touristic nature of the city we all loved Granada; there is a life and vibrancy to this city, you want to stay just a little bit longer, explore it a bit more. The colorfully painted colonial style buildings in what makes up the heart of the old city are organized like all Central American towns around a park central with a cathedral. The park central is the heart of the town full of people walking, children playing, lovers whispering, and tourists gawking. The first afternoon in Granda after checking in to our hotel, Hotel Hospideja Cocibolca, we simply wandered around looking at the architecture, sampling the cafes, checking email and getting our laundry done. art in the cafe el tercer ojoThe second day also centered around walking and food; after lunch, coffee and the internet at El Tercer Ojo, a very good café with free Wi-Fi we went to the Muse de los Tres Mundos. Muse de los Tres Mundos is housed in La Casa de los Leones (house of the lions) named for the magnificent and enormous doorway adorned with two carved lions that stands as the front of the building. This doorway is the only original standing part of the building that burned in 1856 with much of the city during the retreat of William Walker. La Casa de los Leones is home to galleries, concert space, practice space and residences for visiting artists. There are permanent studios in the back of the building where we met Memo Barratta a very talented and friendly artist, in the gallery while we were visiting there was a black and white photography exhibit showing the works of Oscar Naverette and an opera practice in the front rooms. After a coffee break and a snack at the Euro Café we returned to the museum for a guitar concert. a classical guitar concertThe concert featured classical guitarists from Central America, as well as a Swedish group of young musicians “Grupo La Volta”, they played many different stringed instruments from around the world as well as bottles and brooms during their section of the concert. This concert was part of the first annual classical guitar festival which traveled to cities in Central America. After the concert we went to Mona Lisa for Turgay’s favorite pizza so far on this trip. The next day we visited the Iglesia de San Francisco the museum contained in this complex houses both religious and cultural artifacts, showing the life of the ancient people. At the rear of the museum are basalt figures carved between 800 and 1200 AD by the inhabitants of Isla Zapatera in Lake Nicaragua. After the museum we had brunch at Kathy’s Waffle House, this café in extremely popular with tourists, locals and expats. breakfast entertainmentWe ate on the veranda outside with a view of Iglesia de San Francisco and the street life going by; horse drawn carriages, a few goats and a group of musicians who stopped and entertained a local family. After brunch we went to Garden Café to use their Wi-Fi and to have some refreshments. This café is situated around a central garden courtyard with hammocks hung near the tables on the veranda, we were just getting ready to leave when the skies opened up and it poured. After the downpour we walked to the Lake and strolled along the banks of this enormous lake where along with locals and tourists, live stock was grazing. We stayed down by the lake until the mosquitoes proved too much for Amy and we all headed back into town. We went back to El Tecer Ojo to work on the Blog and have a snack. Our time in the café just got longer and longer and we ended up having dinner there, the food was very good. On our final morning in Granada we had breakfast at Kathy’s Waffle House again before catching the bus to Rivas (well almost catching the bus we had to wait another two hours for the next one). We shared a taxi to the pier at San Jorge where we caught the ferry to La Isla Omotepe

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