Off to Managua
Managua Travel Blog› entry 3 of 16 › view all entries
November 1st, 2008 – by: lrecht
So we headed off to Oâ€™Hare Airport in plenty of time with Cathy and Cindyâ€™s dad Milt at the helm and checked in without any complications. Since we used Frequent Flyer points for the flights, our route was somewhat circuitous involving two puddle-jumper flights, first from Chicago to Memphis and then Memphis to Miami followed by the flight to Managua. The Embraer planes are small and none to comfy but compared to the sixteen hour Delhi to Chicago flight last year, no big deal.
We landed in Memphis and decided to get into the Central American swing of things by having Bloody Maryâ€™s and Beers at the Memphis airport. After a brief layover, we took off for Miami where we managed to grab a quick lunch and a beer before taking the flight to Managua.
Immigration in Managua was a breeze and as soon as we exited the airport, a nice old guy with a sign with Cindyâ€™s name on it found us and whisked us off to Granada. Whisked might be a bit of a euphemism as he was quite the cautious driver. The road from Managua to Granada is pretty good and, even though it was early evening, we could see lush vegetation and a nice moon over the lake. Much of the drive was scented with the smoky smell of sugar cane and whatever else burning â€“ itâ€™s amazing how simple smells like that can be so intoxicating in one place and not in another.
Anyway, the drive from the airport at Managua to Granada is only about 45 minutes, the last part of which we actually got to see a bit of pretty, colonial Granada. After winding through the streets we ended up on a pretty, brick paved street Calle la Calzada that had hotels, bars and restaurants on either side of the street with stalled traffic everywhere (mostly because locals in cars were stopping to talk with their friends imbibing at the local bars).
We meandered down the street and pulled up to the Hotel Dario which is a beautiful, up-scale hotel with high-ceilinged rooms with A.C. and paddle fans, a really nice wooden balcony overlooking a garden/fountain area and small balconies over the street with great views of everything including the Granada Cathedral. It is one of the pricier places in Granada at about $90/night but since this is a short vacation relative to our jaunts over that last few years, it doesnâ€™t really matter for a few nights. Good call Yolanda! (but just to be clear, get me on sabbatical again and we are back to our $25-40/night budget!)
It ends up that pretty much everywhere in Nicaragua, you can pay in Cordobas (the national currency) or dollars which was good since we stupidly forgot to change any money at the airport.
We did wander up to Parque Central, the main square in Granada where we cautiously walked around the somewhat dark and deserted park. Not much was going on there, nor did it look all that great a place to be at night so we headed back towards the water and casually walked back up to Hotel Dario and crashed in order to be ready to check out Granada in the morning.
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