Leon and Managua

Leon Travel Blog

 › entry 7 of 14 › view all entries
Today was finally a relatively laid back day.  Our only plans were to check out Leon then head to Managua in the afternoon.  I still woke up around 5:30 AM, used to early starts I guess.  My laundry was getting stinky so I washed some clothes out and hung them to dry; I'd hoped to have some clean clothes for the trip back home tomorrow.

Even better, we actually had time for breakfast this morning.  The hostel offered a breakfast of pancakes, fruit and juice.. quite yummy.  We set off and spent a few hours wandering around town.  There are a few good churches in town; specifically the Cathedral in the main square is the largest in Central America.  There are also several murals around town.
  Leon is still a pro-Sandanista town, we saw FSLN signs and flags.

The town still seemed kind of run down, there had been street-to-street fighting here during the war.  We had trouble finding an ATM at first, turns out all the banks in town are on one corner.  We also visited the old jail and Calvary church then back to the hostel to checkout.

We decided to head on to Managua; get there early, maybe have lunch and checkout the town.  I spotted a flyer for the Managua Backpacker Inn at the hostel, looked like a good place to stay.  Most of the other hotels listed in the LP were in the dodgy area around the bus station.  I needed to be closer to the airport as my flight back to the US was in the morning.

We managed to make the noon bus; it was a little over an hour to Managua.
  Caught a cab to the hostel and had to wait a bit for the owner to get back so that we could checkin.  The hostel is in a good location near the Metrocenter mall and near lots of restaurants.  Settled in a bit then caught a cab downtown to get some pictures of the old ruined cathedral and national palace, the Area Monumental.  Most of the downtown area was abandoned after the earthquake here in 1972.  Some of the area is supposed to be dangerous, definitely after dark.

The cathedral was still closed, it had suffered damage during the earthquake and you could see all the cracks in the structure.  There was a huge Christmas tree of lights strung from the pole in front of the palace.  Nearby is a statue to the revolutionary workers; holding aloft an AK47 with a Sandanista flag wrapped around it.  Across the street is the Peace Park where hundreds of AK47s and other weapons were buried in the cement.

We headed back to the hostel a bit before grabbing dinner.  There was a Mexican restaurant nearby that had a big dance area setup behind it, a live band was playing when we arrived.  The food was kinda meh, but then again we're spoiled living in Texas.  I had to wake up at 4AM tomorrow for the shuttle to the airport so we called it an early night.
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photo by: Chokk