Monday, April 24, 2017

Our Lady of Grace Cathedral in Leon, Nicaragua

If I would have known I would be walking the rooftops of a Grecian temple of the Gods, I would have picked a cloudless day. That way, the contrast between the white stucco and a Mediterranean blue sky would have been even more impressive. Of course, this isn't the Mediterranean. It's Nicaragua. 

The Cathedral is the largest in Central America and is a designated world heritage site. The construction started in 1747. Leon is surrounded by a landscape of volcanoes. You can see them in the distance. 

We climbed up the narrow stairs to the bell tower in a grand church in Granada, Nicaragua. There, we were rewarded with a great view of the city. So when my husband told me we were going to climb this cathedral, I said, "Cool." I figured the view would be great. But, I had no idea that the real view was the roof. We were advised to stay on the straight and narrow and not to climb onto the domes. Otherwise, we'd be thrown into Volcan Cerro Negro. 

There were actually quite a few tourists strolling the sizzling white rooftops. The roof had two tiers, so people were spread out like flowers on a wedding cake. Plus, I tried not to get people in on the photos. 


The windows held colored glass. You can barely see that here.

Here, we're looking down on the lower roof.

These guys have a heavy load to lift.

If you are ever in Leon, pick a cloudless morning and look around the left hand side of the front of the glamorous Cathedral. Trust me, the little nook where you are ushered up an even narrower series of stairs is hard to find. But it is worth it.


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Check out my review of Vacationland this week. The land of venison and honey! 

Monday, April 17, 2017

From Dawn till Dusk in Panama City

Sunrise in Panama City. The east side.

(This unpublished post has been lingering around for two years. Better late than never) 

The best thing about this high rise condo was the view!

Sunrise in a major city was a complete 180 over our usual travel vantage point. We're usually isolated on a hillside or nestled on a beach. Even so, the lofty perspective was pretty darn cool. 

I zoomed in on this photo from our condo on high. They were shooting a commercial. Or just having a killer photo party. The ladies were in complete feathery regalia. I always regretted not going down to see the scene in person. 

This was the view that was sandwiched between the city. And all those high rise buildings. 

Boats were always cruising by, heading for the Panama Canal. 

I turned around!

The west side.

Sunset was spent looking out and about over another vantage point. It was really the only time of day that we could enjoy our tiny balcony, without cooking the books. Among other things...

I hope the graphic designer of these labels was paid well. The graphics are awesome! It's fun to try craft beer in different parts of the world. 

Here, the city was just turning on the lights for the night. Headlights and tail lights were a constant blur of light. To see the city at its most vibrant, revisit this Panama post. Neon City  

The Moon over Panama. I've seen many a moon over Central America. And counting...

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Monday, April 10, 2017

Rivas and Ometepe

When tourists go to Rivas, they are usually headed to the island of Ometepe. But we've already done that. So this year we just admired it from afar. I love taking photos on this rustic, local beach. 

This year, Rivas was our destination. I love driving through the busy town. My husband, not so much. That's because he's driving. At one point, we ended up trapped in a crowded street bazaar. I'm sure cars weren't even supposed to be there. But with all the one ways, people and foreign confusion, it is easy to end up in the wrong spot. Luckily, nobody threw a yucca at us. It kind of reminded me of a movie scene from Raiders of the Lost Arc. I like to imagine we were fleeing from angry Germans, so we drove into a crowded street fair where they were selling olives and exotic spices and were swarmed by helpful locals. They hid our vehicle with their bodies. Later, nuns hid us in the cemetery behind this church. Oh wait, that was another movie.

I thought the architecture was stunning. 

Christ with his open arms makes this post appropriate for Easter weekend. Actually, Christ and one of his flock. 

The real reason we were in Rivas, was to tour the Museo de Antropologiae Historia and Hacienda Ursula. It houses artifacts gathered from the ancient city of Quauhcapolca dating to AD 1000.  (I hope I spelled all of that right. I gathered it from the scribbling in my travel diary.) There was a scattering of interesting objects. But mostly just some ghastly taxidermy. I mean the scariest, creepiest ever!


The lovely Hacienda.

A cool artifact. 

I didn't go on what I like to call a "photo safari" in Rivas, but I did capture this graffiti and a little crumbling color. 

Back on the beach, the local buses amused me. 

Number 4 in front of Concepcion.

My favorite photo from our 2017 trip!

Happy Easter!

I posted Christ of the Mercy over the Easter holiday after our first trip to Nicaragua. Visit that post if you are feeling sentimental. Or missed it the first time. 

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Monday, April 3, 2017

Fall back/Spring Forward

I thought it would be fun to post some of my last local photos of fall, tailgated by my first photos of spring. Here we are walking in a magical golden forest. A.K.A. Robert's Bird Sanctuary in Minneapolis.

And indeed, we saw birds! The best darn birds the mid-west has to offer. In fact, I just read in the paper that Minnesota has the highest number of nesting pairs in the United States. 

Robert's bird Sanctuary on a vibrant sunny day. 

Sunny fall petals.

Flash forward to spring. We're out and about again. This time we traveled to the wilds of Wisconsin. My old stomping grounds. Shed hunting. This was our only find. 

But we discovered other things. Leftovers from two brutal crime scenes. Bleached skulls, scattered teeth, old bones and lots of matted fur. A deer skeleton. Two in fact. Something was hungry.

I was intrigued by the wiggly skull patterns. 

Quiet beauty. 

I left these for a hunter to discover. 

Spring babies have arrived! We discovered 3 Great Horned Owlets at Lake Hiawatha. Score! Actually, it isn't a secret. The parks have the area blocked off. But I was still able to zoom in and get a shot. My favorite of spring so far. 

"Are you look'in at me?"

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