One thing I am learning to appreciate about Nicaragua is it´s variety in climate, culture and landscape. New years weekend Brad and I headed to Leon, on the coast, for some R & R. Coming down from the mountains, the cool and humid climate of Matagalpa turns into blue skys and hot, dry air. In these flat lands between Matagalalpa and the southern part of Nicaragua, you begin to see some of the volcanos that characterize the country. The volcano´s power seems magnified because of the heat. The sun is overwhelming, invasive and it floods the air around you.
Reaching the coast was literally a breath of fresh air! Brad and I made to Leon in time to check into a hotel, drive to the beach, take a quick dip and watch the sunset.
Leon is a beautiful city with an interesting history of colonization, resistance and political rivalry with Granada. Leon was also home to some of Latin America´s most famous peots, such as Rubin Dario. The colonial-style architecture gives the city a unique feel. The residential streets and building facades look similar to other parts of Nicaragua. But, if you catch a glimpse inside you see a different world of bright courtyards and exquiste gardens. Here is Brad sitting inside the coutyard of our hotel (which had turtles everywhere!).
The architectural reminders of Nicaragua's colonization by the Spanish is accented by murals depicting more recent imperialism and resistance. The political commentary, some of which is directed at political figures from the U.S. , is poinent (you´ll have to visit to seem them!). Murals are everywhere around the city...here is one painted inside of an old pool at a cultural center.