Sunday, March 6, 2011

Leon Favorites

Iglesia San Francisco

Pan Y Paz at Break Time!
During the three and a half weeks we were in Leon, we found some places that we liked a lot. Since Hilda made us dinner, we did not eat at restaurants a lot but we did once in a while. The first place is a place we went almost everyday at about 10:15, Pan y Paz (Bread and Peace) right around the corner from Dariana Spanish School. It had really good bread and chocolate croissants "and good coffee" said my mom. 

The next restaurant is El Mediterraneo which had free wi-fi so we went there frequently to use the computer. Once when we went there I had shirmp and avocado sushi!!!! We had dinner there when Uncle Andy was visiting and had pizza with capers on it. They have a "chill out" room which has pillows that you sit on, on the floor. It also has lights strung on the walls and black umbrellas hanging from the ceiling!

Cocinarte (cooking art) is a vegetarian restaurant that we went to twice. They have a couple of dishes with chicken but you can ask for tofu!!!!!! 

Via Via
Via Via is the fourth restaurant. They also have a hotel, bar and free wi-fi. In the bar they have a pool table and in the back of the restaurant  they have a courtyard. If you sit at the front of the restaurant you are basiacly on the street because, like most places in Leon, there are no windows except windows without glass. The whole front is open and when Via Via closes they shut huge folding doors. 

La piscina at Hotel San Cristobal
One weekend we went to Hotel San Cristobal and they have a pool so we went swimming in the clear blue water. We ate ceviche, shrimp, and salad for lunch. They also have free wi-fi so we used the computer. 

Museo Ortiz-Guardian
The best art museum in Central America is in Leon and we went there a few times. The things in the museum are a private collection but it only costs about one dollar to go in! They have an old part and a modern part. The displays are all around open courtyards with fountains and plants. They have Picassos, a Diego Rivera, and other famous pieces from all around the world.  

Models outside Dariana Spanish School

el Cathedral
One of the different things we noticed about the buildings here from the United States is that buildings here usually are around an open courtyard set back from the street. We had fun(especially at night) walking around the streets because you could look in people's houses and see their courtyards. Overall Leon was a nice city and we had fun staying there.

Tomb Ruben Dario

Leon has the biggest cathedral in Central America and we went there as an afternoon activity in our school. We went on the roof where we had a good view of Leon and it was very windy. To get to the roof we had to go up a very narrow stair case with a couple of landings that the huge bells were on. A very famous poet named Ruben Dario was buried under a stone sculpture of a lion in the middle of the cathedral. 

Looking East from the Cathedral Roof

statues at the Cathedral

West view to Volcan San Christoba

Right outside of the cathedral is the central park where there are lots of people selling things, walking around, cooking, and blasting music. There are lots of trees in the central park and animals too. 

Here are some pictures from around town... 
x-Cafe Ben Linder

in Leon
plastic is everywhere!

typical food stand

A note from Nadine: Leon is known as the University town of Nicaragua, with  a dozen or so Universities. It is also proud of it's position as one of the strongholds of the Sandinista and progressive traditions, the place where the first Somoza was assassinated by a young poet and where student uprisings were brutally repressed. This all stands in contrast to Leon's long time rival, the more conservative and more refined southern contender historically for capitol of the country, Grenada. Somehow, I knew we'd be more comfortable there than in Grenada, amongst the murals and revolutionary history of the more gritty town.

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