Granada, Nicaragua

Posted by on Feb 16, 2012 in Central America, Nicaragua | 0 comments

Granada was our first stop in Honduras. We had no idea what to expect when our bus dropped us off in the main square. Granada was bursting at the seams with activity. School children played around in the park, patrons were eating and laughing at the restaurants, and a street band played latin music. We were instantly in love.

We dropped our things off at our hostel and went off to explore the town.

What we really enjoyed about Nicaragua was the sense of getting off the beaten path a bit. Costa Rica’s tours are all well polished. The tours are all pre-built, organized and very well planned out. It makes things easy for the traveler, but sometimes doesn’t seem authentic.

We escaped that in Nicaragua. We rented a couple of bicycles and grabbed a map of the city. We talked to some ex-patriots living in Granada and devised a nice bike route for the day. We started by touring this impressive church right off the main square. The colors inside the church were brighter than we’ve ever seen in a church.

After the church we biked down the one touristy street in the town. Bright colored restaurants lined each side of the street for 3 blocks.

Near the end of the street was a huge church. The lack of restoration gave it an even more “off the beaten path” feeling. We continued on our way and saw a small artist’s studio. We went inside and say a neat mural on the wall.

The street ended at Lake Nicaragua. Granada succeeded as a town much because of its location on the lake. Before the Canal in Panama and the transcontinental railway in the US, Lake Nicaragua provided a connection between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. It was a major route on goods movement between San Francisco and New York. (Then William Walker declared himself president of Nicaragua, changed the name to “Walkeragua”, reinstated slavery, and tried to turn Nicaragua into a southern state)

We were also impressed with all the buildings we went into. It seemed like every one had a courtyard in the middle.

I really liked this idea, it gave the home owner a living room that was outside.
At night we went out for dinner in the main square and saw street performers. A group of kids walked around one had a snare drum, one a 7 foot costume of a women, and one a dancing head costume.

We gave the kids a couple bucks for the performance. The guy at the table next to us gave the kids half of the meal he was eating, and they were ecstatic. They ate as fast as they could, like the man might renege on his offer at any time.

We weren’t in Kansas anymore…


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