• Home
  • Audio
  • Video
  • Print
  • Art
  • Photos
  • Live
  • Features
  • About
  • Sale
  • Instagram
  •  

    Is This the Isthmus? Tour – Nicaragua Part 9

    Tuesday, August 22, 2017
    Granada, Nicaragua

    The shop at the Choco Museo in Granada, Nicaragua.
    The shop at the Choco Museo in Granada, Nicaragua.

    An 'ancient' rolling pin and table at the Choco Museo in Granada, Nicaragua.
    An ‘ancient’ rolling pin and table at the Choco Museo in Granada, Nicaragua.

    Today, I exited the Hostal El Momento and walked a half block over to the Choco Museo, also known as the Chocolate Museum. I had read the price for entry was $21.00, which seemed unbelievable if not outrageous, so I just had to go check for myself. As it turned out, the museum consists of a brief timeline composed of a dozen info graphics printed out on foam core and hung on a wall inside a hotel courtyard.

    My chocolate drink at the Choco Museo in Granada, Nicaragua.
    My chocolate drink at the Choco Museo in Granada, Nicaragua.

    A display at the Choco Museo in Granada, Nicaragua.
    A display at the Choco Museo in Granada, Nicaragua.

    Accompanying that were a few displays of chocolate-making tools on the floor, a shop that sells chocolate that is made on site, and a kitchen where you can enroll in a class to make chocolate bars yourself from scratch (from bean to bar). The latter is what costs $21.00; the museum itself is free. I guess you could say that pretty much stoked me out. Things that cost nothing always make me happy.

    A little Guatemalan cubism at the Choco Museo in Granada, Nicaragua.
    A little Guatemalan cubism at the Choco Museo in Granada, Nicaragua.

    Making chocolate bars from scratch at the Choco Museo in Granada, Nicaragua.
    Making chocolate bars from scratch at the Choco Museo in Granada, Nicaragua.

    When I first arrived, a group of Chinese tourists were watching a very loud and animated employee give a comedic demonstration of how cacao beans were traditionally ground by hand with a stone rolling pin on a small stone table. After reading up on the history of chocolate, I bought a delicious chocolate “smoothie” that came in a large glass. As if that weren’t enough, I just couldn’t get myself to leave without buying a chocolate brownie that was also made on site. That reminded me of the saying, “All right, just hand over the chocolate and no one gets hurt!”

    A collection of masks at the Choco Museo in Granada, Nicaragua.
    A collection of masks at the Choco Museo in Granada, Nicaragua.

    Colorful paint schemes abound in Granada, Nicaragua.
    Colorful paint schemes abound in Granada, Nicaragua.

    After walking around the streets of Granada for a while shooting street scenes and making a few recordings of the sounds of busy streets, I headed a few blocks west over to the Iglesia de Xalteva, another Catholic church that looks nice inside, but rather shambling on the outside. I paid the $1.00 entry fee and squeezed my way a few stories up the tiny, narrow stairs into the bell tower. After checking out the views of the city, I sat and rested for a short while on the bench up there. Then I stood up and got ready to leave.

    The interior of the Iglesia de Xalteva in Granada, Nicaragua.
    The interior of the Iglesia de Xalteva in Granada, Nicaragua.

    The bells that made my tinnitus even louder at the Iglesia de Xalteva in Granada, Nicaragua.
    The bells that made my tinnitus even louder at the Iglesia de Xalteva in Granada, Nicaragua.

    Right then, I heard the bells toll at the Iglesia La Merced a few blocks away. When I was there yesterday, the carillonneur (the bell ringer) warned me to plug my ears and all went well. Since there was no one around the Iglesia de Xalteva bell tower today, I didn’t think anything about the bells there ringing. But, sure enough, a few moments later, the huge bells a mere two feet directly above my head started clanging away. Right as the shock of the crack of the first massive clang hit my ears, I panicked and pressed my ears closed immediately. At least I was able to muffle the bell strikes that followed .

    More color-splashed storefronts in Granada, Nicaragua.
    More color-splashed storefronts in Granada, Nicaragua.

    A view of the Iglesia La Merced from the Iglesia de Xalteva in Granada, Nicaragua.
    A view of the Iglesia La Merced from the Iglesia de Xalteva in Granada, Nicaragua.

    But, the damage was already done. My tinnitus (a never-ending high-pitched tone) in both ears, which was already very prominent from years of attending loud concerts from the ’70s through the ’90s, was now pushed to an absolutely screaming volume. Crazily enough, the ropes connected to the bells were strung from the tower across a courtyard to another building where the carillonneur was situated, which I hadn’t noticed.

    Pole position in Granada, Nicaragua.
    Pole position in Granada, Nicaragua.

    The Cathedral of Granada in Granada, Nicaragua.
    The Cathedral of Granada in Granada, Nicaragua.

    I marched back downstairs to tell the guy who took my dollar that he should have warned me that the bells were going to ring, but no one down there spoke much English. A lady who showed up to attend mass and spoke some English translated for me, but it didn’t seem like the people in the office were very concerned. I should write a small warning sign on a piece of paper and go back there tomorrow to hang it up so hopefully this won’t happen to anyone else.

    Words and photos ©2017 Arcane Candy.

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *