Dec. 26-28: Granada, Nicaragua

On the 26th of December (day 56), Danielle and I left the Selva Negra Ecolodge in Matagalpa, Nicaragua, and drove to Granada, Nicaragua. Granada is one of Nicaragua's most famous city's – if not the most famous (Leon and Granada have had a great rivalry basically since their inceptions and both contend for most popular city) – and we didn't want to miss it. However, looking online, there wasn't many appealing places to camp in or close to the city, so we found a hostel for an okay price, but had to stay in a dorm.

Unfortunately, the hostel didn't have any parking, but I'd seen online that the Granada fire department allows overlanders to park their vehicles in the fire department's secure parking lot for a very affordable fee. Thus, we checked-in to the hostel, and then drove to the fire department. We dropped off the vehicle and as we were walking out of the compound, we passed an old fire truck that I don't think was in use anymore. There, on the side of the truck, was something almost unbelievable: the logo and insignia for not one, but two fire departments from not only Canada, but British Columbia. And, if that's not unbelievable enough, not only were the two from BC, but one was that of the Salt Spring Island Fire Department; an island literally a half hour journey from my house back in Canada. The other British Columbian fire department that was featured on the truck was that of Kamloops, a town in the interior of British Columbia. My theory is that the truck was passed between the two BC towns, and then eventually was donated to Granada's fire department. I took a picture of the truck with my phone, but that phone since broke, so I can't upload it here. However, a quick Google search returned this and this.

Anyway, while in Granada from the 26th to the 28th, we toured around the beautiful city, taking a look at Lago de Nicaragua and exploring the various shops, restaurants (despite what any travel book, site, etc. recommends, Kathy's Waffle House is a major disappointment), and historical buildings. Of course, most of the photos I took were of the famous Our Lady of the Assumption Cathedral aka Granada Cathedral, but as cliche as it is, the church is absolutely pristine and hard to not want to shoot it all evening. We also visited the museum at the Centro Cultural Convento San Francisco which was a very nice building, embodied by the very relaxing atmosphere within its walls; also it has some some interesting displays, but nothing phenomenal.

Some of my favourite photos from Granada were shot from Iglesia La Merced bell tower. However, while atop the tower shooting away, a strong gust of wind took my hat, and blew it onto the roof of the church, with no foreseeable way of retrieving it. The hat had served me very well, and I was sad to see it go, but I guess god works in mysterious ways... or something.

After spending a couple days in Granada, Danielle and I left the famous city on the 28th (day 58), and headed along the lakeshore and into Costa Rica.

From the museum, with a volcano visible center frame.

As seen from the museum.

Danielle in the museum with some statues, which according to Lonely Planet, were "carved between AD 800 and 1200, then left behind on the ritual island of Zapatera."

Guadalupe Church (I think).

Shot from Iglesia La Merced bell tower.

The last I ever saw the poor hat.

The Panorama from the bell tower.