Nicaragua & Costa Rica – Day 9 Leon


 

IMG_5204 IMG_5214 IMG_5230Sunday January 21, 2018

We awoke up one minute before the 7:00am city siren – what the heck! Even on Sundays it goes off and sounds like an air raid or a tsunami siren. Thankfully we were already awake, or it may have given us a heart attack.

We take our time heading to breakfast as we will just take it easy today. I head out around 9:00am to see if I can do the Cathedral roof tour. It is one of the most popular things to do in Leon with a stunning view of the city. Yippeee the roof is open on Sunday. Along with about 50 others, I climb the stairs to the Cathedral roof. Once at the top, we are all required to take off our shoes and are given strict rules on where we can and cannot walk, or lean. The roof has no steel reinforcements so leaning on a railing or stepping on one of the domes could be fatal, or a least very painful, never mind damage to a centuries old church!

The history and construction of the church is fascinating https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Our_Lady_of_Grace_Cathedral,_León

I join in with a Costa Rican family and very pleased to be able to understand the guide at least 80% – I love being immersed into the Latin culture and Spanish language!

Just as we are about to finish the tour and head back down the stairwell, the church bells peal for 11:00am mass. It is absolutely beautiful although somewhat deafening – I love the sound of church bells 🔔.

From the church I retrace my steps to La Union for snacks and refreshments and join Fero at the hotel swimming pool. The pool is refreshing, actually a wee bit cool, perfect for a hot day like today (around 32 or 33C). The pleasures of reading poolside never gets old and I enjoy it to the fullest.

It’s now late afternoon and the whole population of Leon is out strolling the streets and Plaza Central. Sunday is an important day in Latin culture, first is attending church, then food and socializing. We join in and the centre is a buzz with people of all ages from wee ones to grandparents.

We have been recommended to try Sesteos, an open air restaurant across from the square. It appears it is high on everyone’s recommendation list as all available seats with a breeze are taken. But patience wins out and I snag two bar stools overlooking the plaza – mind you, I needed a step ladder to get upon the things 😄.

IMG_5241Once perched we order a Nica Libre (rum, coke & lime) and local cuisine appies , a Nicatamal and Nica tacos. Both were delicious and huge and therefore became our dinner. We struck up a conversation with a young couple that had just arrived from Montreal and gave them some pointers on what to see and where to go. One of those is to never change money at the airport (or change very little). The Managua airport is brutal and gave us 21 Cordobas per US $ rather than the 30 or so it should be. This poor couple cashed in $600US at this low rate and were properly swindled by the airport exchange – absolute shame!

The plaza is changing, families are heading home and the younger generation is appearing – party time and time for us to go home

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