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    Is This the Isthmus? Tour – Nicaragua Part 14

    Sunday, August 27, 2017
    Leon, Nicaragua

    Layered flyer chaos on a pole in Leon, Nicaragua.
    Layered flyer chaos on a pole in Leon, Nicaragua.

    The first notable thing I saw today happened right down in the center of town by the Cathedral of Leon. There, in front of several sidewalk tables at an open air restaurant on the corner, a disheveled, shirtless, shoeless, homeless man struggled to hold up the front of his pants while he asked people for money or food. After a waiter shoved him away, the homeless man made quite a sad spectacle of himself with his bare butt totally showing as he staggered around in circles and down the street.

    The Cathedral of Leon, Nicaragua.
    The Cathedral of Leon, Nicaragua.

    The Cathedral of Leon, Nicaragua.
    The Cathedral of Leon, Nicaragua.

    Following that craziness, I sought refuge inside the Cathedral of Leon, where I recorded the sound of some sweetly dissonant cathedral bells that eerily melded together with the amplified speech from a Sunday sermon–all completely soaked within the vast reverberation of the gigantic church halls. “The biggest cathedral in Central America and a UNESCO World Heritage site, the Cathedral of Leon is the final resting place of the poet Rubén Darío, as well as many other notable Nicaraguans. For a small fee, you can climb the stairs up to the roof, where you get a great view of all of Leon’s churches and the surrounding volcanoes. You can also get a close-up view of the giant sculptures holding up the Cathedral bells and go into the cellars down below.”–Wikipedia

    The Cathedral of Leon, Nicaragua.
    The Cathedral of Leon, Nicaragua.

    Later in the evening, I was walking by a basketball court in the center of Leon, where I shot a few photos of some local skateboarders ripping a flat bar and a metal ledge. “Originally founded in 1524, Leon, Nicaragua (named after Leon, Spain) is one of the oldest cities in the Americas. The original Leon was closer to Lake Managua (also known by its indigenous name, Xolotlán) but evacuated in 1610 after volcanic activity rendered it uninhabitable. Although the city (including some of the dead in the cemeteries and some of the saints in the churches) was moved almost entirely, some ruins of Leon Viejo can still be seen.

    The crucifixion of Jesus Christ in the Cathedral of Leon, Nicaragua.
    The crucifixion of Jesus Christ in the Cathedral of Leon, Nicaragua.

    Hot Head in the Cathedral of Leon, Nicaragua.
    Hot Head in the Cathedral of Leon, Nicaragua.

    “Boasting a surplus of Spanish colonial splendor, Leon is the intellectual center of Nicaragua, renowned for its universities, fine museums, old churches, revolutionary history and student life. Leon is also the hometown of two of the finest poets in the Spanish language, Rubén Darío and Alfonso Cortés.

    Doggies on the wall in Leon, Nicaragua.
    Doggies on the wall in Leon, Nicaragua.

    “After Granada, which is better preserved, Leon has the most colonial architecture in Nicaragua. Leon used to be the hub of cotton growing, but that has declined. Tourists have not been a large, visible presence in Leon, though it is popular among backpackers and as of late, tour groups. Despite that, Leon still sees far fewer tourists than Granada. During Easter week, Leon and the surrounding beaches of Las Peñitas and Poneloya get packed with Nicas and foreigners alike.”–Wikipedia

    Holman Hernandez rips a flat bar in Leon, Nicaragua.
    Holman Hernandez rips a flat bar in Leon, Nicaragua.

    Words and photos ©2017 Arcane Candy.

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