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Granada, Nicaragua

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cathedral GranadaLaguna de apoyogranadagran nic

We’ve been spending the last few days here in the enchanting city of Granada. Now nearly 500 years-old, Granada is the oldest city in the new world and has managed to retain much of its original splendor. Situated on the northwest coast of Lago de Nicaragua, Granada was intended to be a showcase city for the Spanish and has been an important city for trade ever since. I’ve also learned that Granada was sacked by pirates three different times, so this lends an extra layer of romance and intrigue.

For the last two days Eric and I have been enjoying walking the streets of Granada and relaxing at our hostel. The colonial buildings and churches here are in excellent condition as there is an extensive restoration project going on citywide. In many ways Granada reminds me of Antigua in Guatemala. Of the two, I’d have to say I prefer Antigua, but both are special and unique in their own regard.

Our first night here we stayed in a very popular hostel called the Bearded Monkey. It was another place that was suggested to us by nearly everyone we met. The night we stayed at the Bearded Monkey, a storm much like the one in Leon ensued. It’s obviously the beginning of the rainy season here. It ended up raining so much that the ground floor of the hostel flooded with nearly three inches of water. Lucky for us, we were in one of the only private rooms, located on the second floor.

Today we took a day-trip to the Laguna de Apoyo, located only twenty minutes away from Granada. The Laguna was picture-perfect and the water was incredibly clean. It was an excellent place to go swimming and relax on the beach. Eric and I were able to work on our tans and attempt to finish the novels we are reading.

Tomorrow we will be heading to another exotic location, Isla de Ometepe. Isla de Ometepe is an island comprised of two volcanoes that rise out of Lago de Nicaragua. We plan to spend two days there and might even climb our first volcano of the trip. After that, we’re off to Costa Rica for a few days before continuing on to Panama.

Overall the trip is going incredibly well. Eric and I are getting along great. I find I enjoy traveling with a friend considerably more than traveling alone. Both have their pros and cons, but having a great friend along always seems to make the hard times not so hard, and the great times even better. It was a big step for both of us to go on this trip, and I am very happy it is working out according to plan. I feel incredibly content knowing I am keeping a promise that I made to myself a long time ago: never stop traveling. As Eric wrote on his blog: “The trip of a life time, or one of many . . .”

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