Beautiful City

Trip Start Feb 03, 2006
Trip End Jun 20, 2006

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Flag of Nicaragua  ,
Friday, February 24, 2006

We made it into Nicaragua from Costa Rica. We are getting irritated with our Lonely Planet guide, which seems to have a lot of misinformation, quite dated information, and a few very bad maps. The LP said that it would cost us $26 each to get out of Costa Rica. While we were happy to not have to pay the fee, we did end up losing money changing the Colones we had reserved for exit fees for Cordobas (nicaraguan money). But, in the end, we did end up saving money, so I suppose we cant be too mad. I cannot find the apostrophe on this keyboard, bear with me here...

The border crossing was tedious, but not difficult. We got on and off the bus several times, and we had to surrender our passports to the bus assistant for awhile (this made us nervous, but they DID take them from EVERYONE, so we went along with it). We both got the green light at Nicaraguan customs, which made us happy.

We thought that we would have to take the bus to Managua, spend the night, then catch a bus back to Granada. However, the bus stopped fairly often once we got into Nicaragua, and they had no problem letting us off earlier than we had originally intended. Granada has a reputation as a very safe place, while Managua most definitely does not...we were happy not to go there.

Granada is a beautiful town, on the edge of Lago Nicaragua. There are many spectacular old buildings, and it is fun to just wander around here. William Walker, a nasty man from Tennessee, briefly occupied this city in the mid-1800s, and burned it upon his departure. He is not loved here.

Or in Honduras, where they executed him.

We visited the former-convent that he had used as his headquarters, now an excellent museum. It has some great paintings and some really amazing monolithic statues. The porous basalt they used to carve them is phenomenally bad, and it is amazing that there is so much detail, nonetheless. The admission to the museum included a private english speaking guide, all for under $5 total. Amazing.

Andrew has discovered his new love, fried cheese. It is commonly served for breakfast along with gallo pinto (red beans and rice) and fried plantains (maduro) as well as eggs. The porous cheese is slice 1/4 inch thick and fried in butter til crispy on the outside, chewy-tangy on the inside.

We havent eaten much other Typico food here, as there is an excellent cheap pizzaria next to our hotel--ahhh the stromboli.

Also, we have discovered the best beer so far--Toņa. Much more body and flavor than any of the Panamanian or Costa Rican beers.
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