Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Do you know the way to San Jose

Why do old (and not so great) songs come to mind?  And what was the original song about, anyway?

So - two uneventful flights, and here we are in San Jose, Costa Rica.  The weather was very nice when we arrived - warm, sunny even!  By the time we got the shuttle to the car rental place, and finished the paperwork, we were in the midst of a thunderstorm!!!!  Agh!  Long and somewhat confusing drive in the torrential downpour, but we managed to find our hotel with no problem.  The issues are that distances are deceiving, and in downtown San Jose there are MANY one way streets - but not alternating one in one direction and one in the other direction.  No, there are THREE in a row in one direction, and then one or two in the other direction.  Makes navigation rather difficult.  Not to mention that our hotel is on a pedestrian street.

Anyway - we finally arrived at Hotel Balmoral, which seems to be half full of Americans.  There are some Spanish speaking people, I have no idea where they're from.  However, an older man was explaining to a young couple about the vouchers they have, there they are going, where they will stay, etc.  All in Spanish.  Then an American woman with a very strident voice came and spoke with people at the desk, and everyone in the lobby winced as her voice pierced our eardrums.  The older man looked at the couple, shook his head, and muttered something in Spanish about her having quite the soprano voice - I couldn't help overhearing and laughing, since I'm sitting next to them.  It was one of those funny moments - especially since I'm speaking a horrible mix of Spanish I've picked up, Italian from last summer, and English.  I'm getting by, but I'm probably butchering at least two of these languages.  Maybe all three.

San Jose is an old city, with beautiful buildings that go back to at least the 1800s, and some (such as a church I saw when we entered the city) that probably date back to the mid 1600s.  Beautiful ornate buildings, and the central pedestrian area has street lights that match the rococo architecture.  (Or maybe Baroque - I confuse my epochs.)  Anyway, there are of course new buildings interspersed, but the old buildings always draw my eye.

Plus PARROTS flying by overhead!!!!!!  PARROTS!!!!!!  Green parrots, squawking by overhead!!!!!  So cool!!!!!!!

I got the camera working - it just takes forever to open, not sure why.  IF you want to see the photos in more detail, you can click (or right click) on the photo and it will open separately, in a much bigger size.

Top photo - Banco Nacionale, from the upper floor of the Q Cafe.

Bottom photo - Teatro Nacionale - I liked the red roof with the red flowers in the foreground!

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