LeonMay 11 in Nicaragua
A 3 hour mini-bus ride took us to Leon.
We found this city to feel much larger and grittier than Granada. There are bars on every door and window, yet it still manages to be a somewhat charming, historic colonial city. There’s (seemingly) a church on every corner - some with very ornate and colorful facades, some looking ready to recede into tropical decay.
Despite its’ violent past, and recent violent protests in Managua, here in Leon seems relaxed. However, talking to our hotel owner, he believes things could change very quickly, not for the good. The US Embassy seems to share this pessimism as we’ve been getting nearly daily travel warnings for the country. It’s been reported that as many as 60 people have been killed in protest-related violence so far. While we’ve felt relatively safe here, we’re looking forward to moving on to Guatemala.
A highlight of our visit was The Ortiz Foundation Art Center. Housed in several beautiful and sprawling colonial mansions, it was unexpectedly impressive. While it mostly highlighted Central American artists - some very, very good - we also saw works by Picasso, Warhol, Basquiat,and Mondrian - to name a few. Not what we expected, not advertised much, and totally deserted…apart from us and the dozen or so security guards following us around turning on and off the lights and fans in the rooms we entered, then left.
Summary: Heat:…diabolical, Mosquitoes…bad! Beer…average. Tropical fruit – mango, papaya, passion-fruit …very good! Coffee…excellent – though now John can’t nap (which is bad for everyone).Read more