From Leon I rode to Granada, Nicaragua. The two cities are historic rivals. Leon has been leftist and prides itself as the home of the revolution. Granda is conservative and sees itself as the more beautiful city. I was really interested to compare the two for myself.
On my ride to Granada I stopped at the Masaya Volcano. It is one of the few active volcanos that you can ride to the top of and look down the mouth of the beast :-).
Although the recent activity of Masaya has largely been dominated by continuous degassing from an occasionally lava-filled pit crater, a number of discrete explosive events have occurred in the last 50 years. One such event occurred on November 22, 1999, which was recognised from satellite data. A hot spot appeared on satellite imagery, and there was a possible explosion. On April 23, 2001 the crater exploded and formed a new vent in the bottom of the crater. The explosion sent rocks with diameters up to 60 cm which travelled up to 500 m from the crater. Vehicles in the visitors area were damaged and one person was injured. On October 4, 2003 an eruption cloud was reported at Masaya. The plume rose to a height of ~4.6 km. In 2008, the mountain erupted spewing ash and steam.
Nothing happened while I was there 🙁
Granada Stay #1
I actually stayed in Granada twice. In between I went overnight to Ometepe. I’ll blog about that in a separate post.
On my first stay I stayed at Charly’s Guesthouse. It was a ways out of town but still walkable. I didn’t feel comfortable walking it at night though. So my exploring was limited to daytime walking around.
The art on the ceiling of this church was spectacular.
My go to cafe in Granada. Really good salads!
I also went to the Garden Cafe a couple of times.
And the Cafe de Arte.
But I liked the Pan de Vida best. The owners were from Austin, Texas and really friendly. And the prices were cheaper.
Of course every town has a main plaza.
I watched them paint the curbs. Obviously they don’t suffer from perfectionism here!
As I walked around I just felt like something was missing from the city. It was beautiful, but sooooo quiet and subdued, especially in the tourist areas. There was more action in the markets outside of the main streets.
Granada Stay #2
On my second stay in Granada I picked a place downtown, Hospedaje Valeria. An interesting place to stay ha ha. The staff were very friendly and great promoters of the services offered by the hotel. I didn’t eat there though because I would have been the only one. As a single I need a place where I can people watch. Although they did offer to get me some company ha ha ha.
The good thing about staying downtown was that I could explore at night.
Definitely more action at night than during the day.
Leon versus Granada
Granada for sure is more beautiful than Leon. But there is just more action and personality in Leon. A Lonely Planet post says it best.