Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Our last full day in Costa Rica - so far

We explored our neighborhood today, and found a great little urban park.  There's a war memorial there, commemorating the battle at Santa Ana, where in 1856 the Costa Rican's defeated the Spanish who were marching northward.  And, today was Ecuador Day, and since the Spanish had been in Ecuador at that time, there was a small celebration right by the war memorial.  (Or at least that's what we gathered from what was explained to us.)  There was a police band, this wreath, a group of students, all kinds of photographs, and possibly some politicians (although we have no idea who anyone was).  It was interesting to watch.

There were a number of sculptures and mobiles made from recycled materials - my favorite was this little archway or tunnel made from computer towers - I like the way it looks like a mini cathedral or something - not sure if the message is that we need to recycle, that art can be made from "upcycled" materials, or maybe that we have made technology and computers a religion, that we worship at the altar of technology.  That's the nice thing about art, it's open to interpretation and personalized synthesis.
 There were also various flower beds, a pool with fountains and a small bridge, the usual picnic tables and park benches, and a whole crowd of people just hanging out in the park.  In addition to all of the people involved in the Ecuador Day festivities.

Then we wandered up the road to a community center where the international exhibit "The Genius of Leonardo da Vinci" was housed.  This is a pretty cool exhibit - the focus is actual models made from sketched ideas and descriptions of Leonardo.  The explanations were all in Spanish, so we only have an idea what was going on - but Leonardo designed things like a flying machine, a bicycle, ball bearing joints, automatic hammering machine, etc. - and these were all made using materials that would have been available during the Renaissance, like canvas, wood, metal.  Some of the items were very cool, like an early lifesaving ring for rescues at sea.  Others are strange, like a wooden submarine.  (How would it NOT float???)  Or a canvas scuba suit and breathing apparatus.   There were a lot of military implements, but also a lot of household implements.  In general, very interesting.  And it's amazing how many things he designed are similar to items we use today, like the bicycle.

And, of course, all kinds of info about Mona Lisa, as well as the very silly opportunity to pose as Mona.  Phebe Lisa?  Mona Phebe?  We cracked up, and of course had to do the photo opp.

We left and wandered some more - and found this great mosaic on a retaining wall, right outside something labelled "Ecole Travel" - travel school?  I really liked this turtle!  Plus the lovely plant mosaics around the garage!

Maybe a little more shopping, then a nice dinner, re-pack and plan for tomorrow, and enjoy our last 24 hours in Costa Rica.

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