The fifth day of our trip to Nicaragua began with another delicious breakfast buffet at our hotel. I found that as the days went on I ate more and more fried cheese each day with my breakfast. As good as everything else was I just couldn’t get enough of the fried cheese.
After breakfast our tour guide picked us up. Our tour guide for that day was named Moises and he informed us that he would be our tour guide for the next three days. It was nice having the same tour guide several days in a row.
That day our tour took us out of Managua to the colonial city of Leon. Before stopping by the current city of Leon we went by the original site where the Spanish had set up in the city of Leon now known as Leon Viejo (old Leon).
The site of the original Leon had to be abandoned by the Spanish because of a Volcano eruption and it was only in the last half century or so that it has been turned into a historical site. This was really fascinating for both my husband and I to visit. For me it was interesting because just like everything else in Nicaragua it was new to me but for my husband it was interesting because while he had lived many years in Nicaragua when he was younger he had never been to Leon Viejo before. Walking around Leon Viejo was such a good history lesson into just how awful the Spanish were to the native people of Nicaragua. The site that I found the most appalling was the town center where the Spanish had marched the native people into to demand they convert to Catholicism and if they didn’t they would be torn to pieces by dogs.
In addition to the town center there were some other interesting remains.
Towards the end of our tour we enjoyed a great view of a large volcano called Momotombo.
One interesting note about this point of our tour is that that topic of global warming came up and Moises could not believe that Donald Trump doesn’t believe in global warming. It was the first of many times over the next few years that I’m sure we will feel embarrassed by the election results of November 8, 2016. As we were heading back to the van I tried the fruit of a Nicaraguan almond.
I did not like it at all, it was very bitter.
After getting back in the van we headed into the current city of Leon.
Once we got into Leon we had about an hour on our own for Lunch. Since we had enjoyed such a large breakfast at our hotel we didn’t need a full lunch. We each had a protein bar in our bag so all we needed was a cold drink since it was hot that day. As we figured out where to get a cold drink we both noticed a large number of white tourists. Apparently the people we met at Selva Negra weren’t the only white people looking for warm weather in Nicaragua in late November. It was a bit amusing to see how much the white tourists were sweating on that hot Nicaraguan afternoon. As much as we like to support local business when we travel we ended up at McDonald’s since all we wanted was a soda to split with lots of ice.
After eating our protein bars at McDonald’s and enjoying our ice cold Coke we walked around Leon before it was time to meet up with Moises. We walked by several landmarks and propaganda murals for the Sandinistas.
We then hung out in the town center for a few minutes before meeting back up with Moises.
Our next stop was the large cathedral of Leon. We got to go up onto the roof the church was beautiful.
In addition to the rooftop of the church being beautiful it also provided some very beautiful views of Leon.
Our tour of the cathedral then took us down into the cathedral itself. It was a beautiful church which included the final resting place of the famous Nicaraguan Poet, Ruben Dario
Upon exiting the cathedral Moises took us back by the Sandinista murals that we had walked by earlier. He was able to give us the history of the murals that we obviously didn’t have own our own. Knowing that the murals were from student uprisings in the 1950s really put into perspective just how long the Sandinista movement had been alive in Nicaragua even before the revolution in the late 1970s.
After briefly climbing back into the van we found ourselves at our next stop, the house of Ruben Dario. Unfortunately, pictures were not allowed inside but it was an interesting stop. Ruben Dario means a lot to my husband, so much so that when we were in Madrid in 2011 we visited a metro stop just because it was named after him.
Our next stop was the Art Museum Fundacion Ortiz-Guardian. We have been fortunate to visit some great museums in Europe including the Louvre.
However, the Art Museum Fundacion Ortiz-Guardian was so wonderful because it features art primarily from Latin American artists, and especially Central American artists. I love Western Europe and Western European history and art but let’s be honest that is only a small part of the world. It was so great to see a museum devoted to artists from a part of the world that doesn’t get as much attention when it comes to art as Western Europe does. Another thing I liked about the Art Museum Fundacion Ortiz-Guardian was that it was made from old colonial homes that had been converted into the museum. In addition to appreciating the great art it was cool to also get a sense of what made the colonial homes so nice. Unfortunately, just like with the Ruben Dario museum we were not able to take pictures inside which is really too bad because there were some really wonderful pieces.
I really liked the city of Leon but upon exciting the museum it was time to head back to Managua. When we got back to our hotel we said good-night to Moises and our driver and went back to our room. When my father-in-law got off work he came and picked us up and took was out to dinner. We had dinner at a really good restaurant down on the waterfront of Lake Managua called Summer. I had churrasco which was really yummy!
The three of us had a wonderful evening together.
After dinner my father-in-law drove us back to our hotel and we got ready for bed. Our day to Leon had been a great one full of interesting history that had been topped up by a wonderful dinner with my husband’s father. The next day was Thanksgiving back in the United States but given the post-election shock and despair we were still it we were both happy not be spending an American specific holiday in the United States.
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Justin Gomez and his sister, Terri, have never been close. Separated by nine years and distant in adulthood, Justin and Terri have little in common, except for the love of her three children. In the days before they embark on a road trip to visit the father that once abandoned them and their now deceased mother, both Terri and Justin are dealing with unexpected changes in their lives. Justin surprisingly realizes he might want more than a series of one night stands after a first date goes unexpectedly well. After a lifetime of being a strong type A personality, Terri is forced to confront the reality of the end of her marriage. As they hit the road, with Terri’s children in tow, they find themselves forced to rely on and confide in each other following a devastating event. Confronted with memories from the past and challenges from the present, Terri and Justin must dig deep and unearth the truth about themselves and their parents in order to build a new family based on their love for each other.