Here it is! The fabled photo dump of a show and tell...Well, here's part of it, anyway. I still have a bunch of photos to go through, but realized that doing it all in one post would probably get me flagged as a spam blog, so here's just a little slice of the pie to whet your appetite. Don't worry, the rest are coming soon.
|National Theater in San Jose, Costa Rica|
Our first stop (besides the coffee maker at the hotel) was the National Theater in San Jose. Construction on this beautiful Neo-Classical building began in 1891 and took seven years to complete. It is considered one of the finest historical building I the capital, and still functions as a theater. We didn't get to go inside, but the interior is supposedly fabled for its opulence and lavish furnishings, as well as the ceiling mural which decorates the inside, "Allegory of Coffee and Bananas" by Milanese artist Aleardo Villa, which was depicted on the five-colón note for years, winning prizes as the worlds most beautiful bank note, before being retired.
We took a group photo, bought our own five-colones bills as souvenirs and piled back into the bus, which I came to not-so-affectionately call Bertha. That's an amusing Papparazzo-style photo the photographer snapped of me climbing back on the bus, just so I would have evidence of how appallingly pale my legs were at the beginning of this trip. And yes, those are bullet holes in the side of that building, remnants of the bloody Civil War that erupted in 1948, lasting 44 days a killing almost 2,000 people. Chilling.
After lunch we moved on to the Tortuguero Canals, a series of waterways that crisscross a national park dedicated to the conservation of endangered sea turtles. We climbed aboard neat little boats that reminded me of school busses, with their rows of seats, and went on a Magical School Bus-style adventure through the jungle. It was truly awe inspiring, the lushness of the jungle spilling over the rivers banks, the exotic animals and birds that were literally around every bend in the river, and the sheer wonder and magic that this place still exists in a world where so much natural beauty has been destroyed, developed and forgotten about. I was truly wonder-struck and bouncing around the boat like a little kid on Christmas, snapping photos of every lizard, monkey and bird I could see.
As someone whose only ever really experienced nature in the wild and rugged pacific north-west, seeing such amazing greenery, lush foliage, and incredible wildlife at every turn was truly magical for me. I have seen so little of the world and this trip was truly inspiring to go out and explore. Not just my home, but the entirety of the world in all it's vast and unique cultures and climates.
I guess I got bit by the travel bug, because I have a feeling this is only the beginning of my world travels.