Saturday, March 16, 2013

Bumming Around Leon, Nicaragua

Leon, Nicaragua is the closest city to our new home in Salinas Grandes.  This is where we will come to  do groceries in the big central market or at the Pali which is believe it or not owned by none other than Wal-mart.  We spent three days here puttering around exploring the down town core.   Leon is not a touristy town it survives on a local economy made up of the Universities and local business and is surrounded by some of the biggest agriculture farms in Nicaragua. 

We stayed at Los Balcones Hotel which was really pretty inside the courtyard and the rooms had HOT WATER so I was stoked - even if it was my first time in a suicide shower. Clearly I survived! 

Me seconds before I tried out the suicide shower.

View from our balcony from our hotel room.
Fin pointing to a bird inside the courtyard of a restaurant while sipping fresh juice.

There are SO many really great restaurants in Leon I will have to write a post just about food.  We tried only a few restaurants this time including a sushi bar that could have been set in Manhattan it was so swank and we are looking forward to exploring and dining when we return next winter.  We ducked into little bistros to enjoy a cold beverage and a light snack often as it was a reprieve form the heat. And well, why not we were on holiday!

We stopped for a cold beer and a snack in one of the many fine food establishments in Leon.

There are several big old Catholic churches including The Cathedral de Leon which is the largest Catholic church in Central America.  It was beautiful inside and was all decked out for the Festival of Mary's Conception on December 8th.  For the week leading up to the feast every evening at dusk the streets were filled with kids lighting firecrackers.  It was quite something to see and hear

Big Daddy P & Fin walking inside the cathedral.

A view from inside the Cathedral looking out at another church across the square.

This is a tribute to Mary.  People hang the hand painted houses to ask Mary to watch over them in their homes.

Outside the steps of the Cathedral

Aside from wandering through the markets and churches and stopping at restaurants we went to the
Museo de Arte Fundación Ortiz-Guardián which was well worth the visit.  They had some beautiful Renaissances art and the second building housed modern art by Central American artists in multiple mediums. This gallery even has a couple of Picasso's sketches!  We were not allowed to take photographs in the gallery ... so you'll just have to come visit us and see for yourself!

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