Thursday, May 1, 2008

Do You Know the Way to San Jose...?

Ok, I don't know if the song that's running through my mind was about San Jose, Costa Rica or not. But I know the way to...or at least around San Jose. I spent about 4-1/2 hours walking around San Jose today. It was great weather, although I see that I got a little bit of red on my shoulders. Hmm...need to pick up some sunscreen!

I guess I need to day started at around 4:30 am local time, when one of my roommate's got her wake-up call- the staff banging on the door after a failed attempt at getting it unlocked! I'd gone to bed pretty early yesterday, so even though I tried falling back asleep, I was awake. My phone slid out of my pocket into the bed at that point, and I remembered that I had Wi-Fi on it. I sent a couple emails, and then headed to what I'd hoped would be a hot shower... HAH! I followed the directions that were taped in the shower stall. It even teased me with 30 seconds of hot water. Then....COLD! Oh my gosh, it was so cold! Brrrr!

A view of my dorm room at Costa Rica Backpackers Hostel.

Anyway, enough of my shower woes! I went back to the room and finally started my Proverbs Bible Study that Pastor Debbie had challenged all of us to do (read one chapter from Proverbs every day...corresponding with the day of the month you're on.) I had a great prayer time, and then I went in search of breakfast...mmmm Pancakes! The hostel has a restaurant on the property, and pancakes with refresca (juice) were only ₡1500 colones (about $3 USD).

After breakfast I was ready to embark on today's adventure...wander around the streets of San Jose, Costa Rica! I managed to be here on a holiday, so the museums were closed, which was a little disappointing, but I had a good walk around the city, and got to see lots of interesting things.

Just 1-3 blocks from the hostel I came across the Supreme Court building and the Justice buildings. Shortly after that I turned onto Boulevard del Museo Nacional. I saw what looked like a turret a couple blocks away, and headed off in that direction. It was the Museo Nacional, but, alas, it was closed. Gotta love holidays! After receiving more catcalls and "comments" (from a group of men on the porch of the Legislative Assembly building) in 30 seconds than I've had in several years, I headed off towards the central area of San Jose. (You learn VERY quickly to ignore and walk away!)

Next I came upon the Cow Parade. Not the kind of Cow Parade you might be thinking of...there were cow statues spread all over San Jose central, painted in all sorts of interesting ways. There was one dressed in a pigeon costume (trying to blend in with the 100's of pigeons there!), one had an underwater scene, there was one standing up dressed in a skirt and showing her legs and udders, there was a Ronald McDonald cow...can't get away from Mickey D anywhere!...and even a Pole Dancing Cow!

Ronald McDonald Cow in San Jose, Costa Rica

It was getting warm, so I figured a pistachio ice cream cone was in order :D to the tune of ₡950 colones (just under $2). I found a bookstore and got the Spanish Phrase book (₡3,900 colones)that I'd meant to pick up in the States, and then wandered down to the Wendy's for a bowl of Chile and a Coke Light- I Had to have a place to study my new phrase book, right? Chile and a medium Coke runs ₡1440 colones in San Jose. (Yes, all of the same restaurants that we have at home are here too...Papa John's, Church's Chicken, McDonald's, etc...)

I got to see the outsides of the Museo Nacional and the Teatro Nacional...again, closed due to the holiday. Then there was a parade. I'm really not quite sure what the parade was all about. The few banners that I read were in regards to Human Rights, but I don't think that was the purpose of the parade...if anyone can read the banners I caught on my pictures and decipher for us, I'd appreciate it!

I got to go into two really cool churches. I've always loved the big Cathedrals, and San Jose has a few. Two were within my walking area today, and I got lots of pictures. I got a short video of part of the service in Catedral Metropolitana. I was a little nervous filming in there, as you can tell by the shakiness of the video! The security guard told me it was OK to take pictures inside, but I didn't realize they were doing some kind of service when I went in. The cathedrals are open all day for people to go in and pray whenever they want to...maybe they know something that we don't...?

After I left there, I headed down to a church I'd passed yesterday on my walk...Iglesia de la Merced (Church of Mercy, maybe?). It was much different, but also way cool! I got lots of pictures there as well. When I left there, I snapped a few pictures at Parque la Merced, and then headed in the general direction of "home". My route led me down Avenida Central, some of which was MAYBE tourist area, and some of which definitely didn't seem like it.

Iglesia de la Mercad, San Jose, Costa Rica

I was getting thirsty, so I got the always available bottle of Coca-Cola- ₡800 colones ($1.60 USD) then wandered by a pizza place that I couldn't pass up! The special was a big slice of pizza and a refresca natural (watered down juice! ;D) for only ₡880 colones. (~$1.70 USD). After that I headed "home" for the day. I was back to the hostel by 1:30 pm local time, and have been uploading and labeling pictures ever since. (The connection is SLOW, but I'm SO grateful for the ability to communicate with those back home. ) After dinner I have LOTS of real work to eBook to finish for my favorite clients... I'll stay in touch as often as I can. I don't know what Ecuador has in store as far as internet, so my posts may not be as long... Did I hear a BIG AMEN to that? :D My love to all back home! Dios Bendiga! God bless you!

No comments: