09 May 2012

Granada, Nicaragua

Granada, Nicaragua was founded in 1524, interestingly enough it was the first European settlement in mainland America. As a result, Granada has several architecturally stunning buildings throughout the small city. The smartest decision we made was to take a horse drawn carriage ride immediately after we arrived. Not only did we make friends with a valuable local, Giovanni, but we were able to get our bearings and figure out where we wanted to go back to and which areas to avoid. I loved how Granada is bursting with color and it reminded me of just how boring our sea of taupe houses in the states can be. Each home is painted a bright bold color and I have never taken so many photos of doorways in all my life.
In the end, I could not decide between which two hotels to stay at, so we split our time between Hotel Dario and Hotel Plaza Colon. I am convinced we were one of two couples staying at Hotel Dario, so we felt like we had this great house to ourselves.

Our carriage ride driver, Giovanni taking us through the streets of Granada. His parents just liked the sound of his name, so he is a rarity living in Central America with an Italian name. An interesting fact about him is he an avid baseball fan. He owns all different types of MLB hats and knows about all the teams. Most people do not wear baseball hats, so this proved to be an easy way to find him in a busy plaza later on. When we mention we are from Seattle, we most often receive excited responses about the the Mariners. All over the world people sure love their Ichiro.

Hanging laundry always catches my eye.

Restoration, dilapidation, and an appreciation for color define Granada. Most homes do not have windows, but almost all have these beautiful garden courtyards in the middle.

This shot from the bell tower reminds me of Florence.
The view from the bell tower were sweeping, you could see the whole city.

The view from the front door of our hotel room at Hotel Dario. The hotel pool was down below with a small waterfall.
The view from our breakfast table each morning.

Walking the streets of the market was an exhilarating and overwhelming experience. I have never been to India, but this is how I envision it to be. Bustling with people, alternate modes of transportation and all kinds of makeshift stands and ways to sell your wares. I loved the vegetables in the wheelbarrow, women balancing items on their heads and produce galore.

I could not get over these aprons. Had I been fluent in Spanish, I would have inquired as to where I could get myself one of these. Women all over Nicaragua have these and I love them.

My trusty travel companion. He never complains, schlepped the backpack around with all our daily supplies and was always there to hold my hand so I did not fall into a large hole or slip on a banana peel.

Hotel Plaza Colon.
The balcony off of our room at Hotel Plaza Colon.

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