Do you know the way to San Jose?

Days: 196-197

Total distance travelled: 39,500.2 kilometres (24,534.29 miles)

It would appear we now do, or at least our bus driver does… okay, we can at least say with certainty that we visited the Costa Rican capital.

First impressions were difficult, as we actually arrived in the dark and with the city’s reputation at night (being rather poor), it also meant a taxi from the bus terminal to our hostel.

A bit of forethought (rare as that may seem) meant we’d purchased a few groceries back in Santa Elena with which we could whip up a simple dinner.

Strolling into the kitchen, who should we see but our English friends Chris and Faye!

Consulting the weather, as well as borrowing a little from their onward plans saw us abandon Costa Rica’s Caribbean coast in favour of the Pacific (the weather looked far more favourable), but first we decided to give the capital a full day of our time.

Our hostel was very central to several of the city’s bus stations (why we chose it), but it also sat right in the heart of downtown itself, perfect for finding breakfast and getting a peek at the first of the local sights.

Some lovely history: Teatro Nacional

Some lovely history: Teatro Nacional

Inside, an equally impressive foyer

Inside, an equally impressive foyer

We weren’t all that eager to spend a lot of money visiting museums that we weren’t certain we were even interested in (like visiting its National Parks, most Costa Rican museums aren’t cheap), so we made a little trek instead out to see the main cemetery.

It wasn’t a short walk, but we had plenty of time and it allowed us to inspect a few churches, including the main cathedral, along the way.

Putting it simply, military cemeteries aside, this was possibly the neatest, most well maintained cemetery we’d seen, complete with security guards!

It was an interesting enough place to have a stroll, but came with an added bonus in the form of some stunning views of the surrounding hills.

The immaculately kept San Jose cemetery

The immaculately kept San Jose cemetery

Now I mentioned that we popped our heads into the main cathedral as we passed by. Well, as there had been a service in session, we decided to pop back on the return journey.

Guess what? Another service was in session!

It did however have what looked an impressive dome, so we resolved to have some lunch, rest for a bit before returning later.

Return we did, a couple of hours later.

The dome? Well, I think it was worth the wait!

A stunning dome, in stunning condition!

A stunning dome, in stunning condition!

We were actually reveling in the almost foreign feel this city had, probably the most modern city we’ve wandered since San Francisco (I don’t think ridiculous Las Vegas counts).

Sarah posed for a picture with John Lennon, we found Cristobal Colon (Christopher Colombus) in another park, and just genuinely enjoyed some of the quirky charms this city threw at us.

It was only for a day, but San Jose is definitely worth at least that!

Who doesn’t love a good mosaic?

Who doesn’t love a good mosaic?

 

Notes:

* Our dorm beds at Golden Frog Hostel cost us $10.00 US per person for the 2 nights we were there (despite a sign near their front door saying $14.00 US per night).

* A bus from Santa Elena cost us $2905.00 Colon per person for the roughly 4 hour journey.

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2 Responses to Do you know the way to San Jose?

  1. LaVagabonde says:

    I spent a day in San Jose, acclimating myself to Costa Rica before heading into the wilderness. This was in 1997. I bet it has changed a lot since then. Love that cemetery photo.

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