After getting through the Jetlag and finally being awake again, we experienced our first days in Granada, Nicaragua. Granada is a really calm and nice little city with colourful houses and very friendly people.
Next to the city, there is a lake called Lago de Nicaragua, but unfortunately it is quite full of plastic, so when you come here, stick to the city. It is a colonial city founded by the Spanish in 1524 (as we learned on a ride with one of the countless carriages in the centre). There are quite a lot of churches around which all have a very different style. In our opinion, we could not have chosen a better place to start our trip.
It is impressive how positive the atmosphere is around here, all the people are friendly and even those who want to sell something to you do not persist and are fine if you say “No, gracias”. Generally there are not that many people here on the street, also because of the heat paired with high humidity outside. But when walking around you can still find all kinds of small shops selling something. Our favourite so far are the ones which have a wooden oven just outside and serve meat fresh from the BBQ.
We haven’t tried it yet which is because of Thelma, the woman we are staying with. During our exchanges we would call her our host mother. She cooks for us three times a day and the food is really delicious. Here is a picture of breakfast.
We stay with Thelma, her sister Maria and her cousin Roger as well as 2 to 4 dogs, depending how you want to count them (sometimes some dogs from outside also hang out in the entrance). The house is in a style in which resembles a roman villa with a garden in the middle and a corridor around it. Its furniture is simple but it is a very nice house in which we can comfortably live for the next few weeks.
The host family stay is part of Jenny’s Spanish school where Chris volunteers in the children’s programme.
Speaking about it, today was our first day. For Jenny this meant the first official lesson of Spanish ever. She had prepared herself before by studying Spanish with Babbel, a language app, for two months. It is really recommendable as she already knows basics in Spanish now and can profit from the classes very much. Her teacher is Maria, a very nice woman from Granada who has four kids and is very patient but also strict with mistakes – a great combination. Chris spent most of the morning playing sports with the kids who are going to Casa Xalteva, as he already knows Spanish quite well. But being outside playing baseball at really high humidity and more than 30 °C was also really tiring. Baseball by the way is the national sport of Nicaragua. Football (European) is on the rise as well, but not quite as important yet.
Today, there was a parade of the younger school kids in the streets as it is the month of Nicaraguan independence. More parades will follow in the next weeks as we were told by the staff of Casa Xalteva.
So far, nos gusta mucho Nicaragua! It is really nice here and we are positively surprised by how comfortably one can move here as a European or “Western” tourist. It is possible to engage in friendly conversations with strangers on the streets without them having hidden intentions. The only thing to get used to is the climate but even that is better than expected. It is not even too hot, only very very humid. At the moment it is rain season here as well, so that probably doesn’t help with the humidity. More from us soon!