But how is it? It’s certainly not a beauty compared to other bigger cities. The Google Earth image above provides a kind of accurate representation of the first impression–not much to feel at first glance. But this city has its own very charming sides, and I enjoy being here.
It is a very lively city. Thousands of people are strolling through the centre, making it very busy all day long, even a bit hectic at times. Between the many run down buildings, you have to look very carefully not to miss the architectural gems. And there are quite a few of them. They are usually not far from one of the many parks in town, where people take a break, have their lunch or just a smoke.
The biggest gem is without a doubt the Teatro Nacional. A beautiful building! Especially the concert room on the 1st floor and the staircase which is leading up there are breathtakingly beautiful.
The most attractive aspect to me however are the museums. I have visited four of them, a great experience even for a well travelled museums visitor. My favourites are the Museo de Arte y Diseño Contemporáneo and the Museo de Oro Precolombino y Numismática.
The first is a collection of modern art, representing many artists of Central America. The art is of high quality (my very personal view) and there is a very nice atmosphere throughout. In the latter mentioned museum, the pre-colombian gold collection stands out – absolutely amazing! Not only are there hundreds of very ancient and nice works of gold, the whole history and process of creation of these pieces is very well explained. It was interesting to see, that these indigenous people saw our world as two cones, standing on each other and connected at the bigger side. We are living at the connection plateau of these two cones, while our dead ancestors are living in the cone below and the gods in the cone above. The spiritual healers, so called Shamans, used gold pieces in the form of birds to travel up to the gods and negotiate bad things away, such as illnesses for example.
With all this new knowledege at hand, I am now ready to move on, back to the Pacific coast.
By the way, did you know that Costa Rica does not have an army? Now how cool is that!!!