Showing posts with label Nicaragua. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Nicaragua. Show all posts

Catedral Antigua de Managua - Photo Gallery

Catedral Antigua de Managua through my lens..

As I have shared in my previous post, I went up early in the morning to see this historical church. Clear blue sky and morning lights are such great help as it was only 8 AM in the morning but the sun was scorchingly hot already..

Heavily damaged after the 1972 earthquake, this old church stands against the test of time and witness the substantial changes that this country has undergone... 

Let's see the many faces of this church from outside, as we are not allowed to get in considering the danger of loose rocks and bricks after the earthquake.

Welcome to Granada, Nicaragua

"This is one of the oldest cities in the country with a long history of Spanish establishment and conquer... Far from the land of Andalusia, the city was named after Granada, a famous city in the southern part of Spain, home of the La Alhambra."

Kalimat pembuka itu disampaikan oleh salah satu volunteer dalam pertemuan kami di Nikaragua, yang kali ini merangkap menjadi tour guide kami. 

Well, I haven't finished sharing my notes on my trip to Nicaragua :). I hope you are not bored yet as I still have many to share :)

I was only 5 days, filled with works and endless meetings. 

But there will always be stories to tell and pictures to share. And as we continued our journey at the last day in Nicaragua, we were kissing Masaya goodbye and heading to Granada, another beautiful spot in the country.

To me, Granada is the colorful capital that has won my heart over since the first time we arrived here. 

It was another 30 minutes drive from Masaya National Park and as soon as we got into this old city of Granada, my eyes feasted with the vivid colors and colonial architectures dotting the curved pebbled street we passed.

Ingatan saya langsung terbang ke Granada yang terletak di selatan Spanyol, tempat La Alhambra dan Istana Nasrid (saya pernah cerita di sini, sini dan sini :) ) yang menjadi bukti kemegahan dan kebesaran Islam di tanah Andalusia di masa lampau. Pantas saja, sejak mobil yang membawa rombongan kami meliu-liuk memasuki jalan-jalan kecil peninggalan masa lalu di Granada, something really rings a bell, besides the exact same name.

Then I noticed it was the architectures...

Sangat Spanyol...sangat Granada :).

And we are far from Europe...
We are in Latin America :).

heading to the ship...don;t you just love the colors :)

Too bad we were there at almost sunset...and we were scheduled to sail at Lake Nicaragua instead of having a city tour. Of course, I had to stick to the plan and meanwhile, tried to enjoy the beauty of this city from our car. I saw colorful houses, - inculding the purple ones, ancient doors and intricate details. But I couldn't take picture of them :(.

One of the landmarks of Granada is the Chatedral...and I missed it :).
I captured some on our way back to the car, after the sail, including lovely cafes in the promenade.
Penny lane the Beatles :)

one of the cafes..

But as I said...the main attractions we enjoyed here is Lake Nicaragua. 

Truly the biggest lake in the country and in Central America, as well as the world's twentieth largest lake, it has around 300 islands doting along the vast lake. 

It's the fresh water lake, formed as the result of tectonic activities of some volcanoes around this area. As you can see in my photos, there are some volcanoes fencing this vast lake, including Mombacho volcano.

Some have resorts and establishments on the island, some are vacant...

While sailing, we were going around some small islands and watching the stunning sunset from the boat.

It was beautiful...
It was such a solemn moment, especially as we had finished the meeting with a rather tough ending before.

For sure, looking at the wonder of God's creation at its best will stay forever in our heart. Especially for me...

Then, after the sunset, we managed to have around 15 minutes to see the center of Granada, particularly at the Placa de la Independencia. 
I know, I know, ...15 minutes, such a short, short time, even to look for souvenirs :).
But I just simply strolled around and let myself lost in the beauty of this vibrant city.

I love this traditional skirt :)
There was a great reason why we have to leave early from Granada.
Can you guess what?

Because we were about to have a meeting with the President of the country...
El Comandante Daniel Ortega.
Oh my....'s the president himself...welcoming our tired-but-super-excited faces (some of us were so nervouse because they were wearing shorts and tank-tops...well, we just had a tour :)) and had a fruitful dialog in his formal residence. 
Truly a once in a life time experience :)... at least for me...

with El-Comandante...
Dan ternyata, segala petualangan kami di malam terakhir di Nikaragua masih dihiasi dengan satu kejutan besar :).
Yaaa...kami dipertemukan dengan Presiden Nikaragua, Daniel Ortega!
Tokoh revolusioner ini menjadi Presiden sejak tahun 2007 dan meskipun dalam pertemuan tidak dijadwalkan, namun  Wakil Tetap Nikaragua untuk PBB di NY telah mengatur pertemuan para peserta seminar dengan El Comandante. Well, rasanya luar biasa bisa bertemu dan berdialog langsung dengan beliau. Tidak terasa 2 jam berlalu dengan seru :). Benar-benar pengalaman sekali dalam seumur hidup :).

By the time I left this country the following day at 7 am in the morning, I know I have left some part of my heart in the Land of Rubio and Sandino. 

Till we meet again, Nicaragua...

Visiting Masaya Volcano, Nicaragua

If Indonesia is located in the ring of fire in the South East Asia region, then Nicaragua is the one in Latin America.

Visiting Nicaragua a few weeks ago for my work trip truly feels like going back home. Of course it's different but there are many things that remind me of home. Including this volcano.

Kalau di Indonesia, kita sudah terbiasa ya melihat gunung, baik yang masih aktif atau tidak, dan bahkan mendaki hingga ke puncak untuk melihat kawahnya. Saya ingat waktu jaman Pramuka saat SMP pernah hiking ke kawah Tangkuba Perahu saat mengikuti Jambore Nasional tahun 1991 (ketahuaaan deh umurnya :)). Dan setelah beberapa lama tidak pernah melihat kawah gunung dari dekat, ternyata dalam perjalanan ke Nikaragua beberapa waktu yang lalu saya mendapat kesempatan lagi untuk melihat hal yang sama, namun di negara Amerika Latin :).

Dubbed as one of the most active volcanoes in the country, the National Park of the Masaya Volcano  is indeed another beautiful spot we visited in Nicaragua.

It took around 30 minutes to go to the National Park from Managua by bus. It was an organized tour after we closed the session of our 3-day seminar. By the time we got to the gate, it was still another 10 minutes drive to the top. I heard that those visiting this place can have the taxi taking them up, hike, or try horseback riding tour for around USD 15. I would love to try the last one but we all went in group so I sat nicely in my bus :).

Nearing the top, we spotted the cross on top of the hill and the Deputy Permanent Representative of Nicaragua, our host, who happened to share the same car as me, said that they put it there in order to keep the devil coming out of the volcano.

Since the volcano was very active, the indigenous people living around there call it "the mouth of hell" or La Boca del Infierno in Spanish. I can imagine how dreadful people at that time witnessing the rumbling volcano erupting lava, rocks and sulphur. And I guess by putting the cross there they must have felt much, much safer.

We managed to see the crater which is still smoking and emitting sulfur gases. So we really have to be careful and refrain from staying near the crater too long.

But I got to admit, the view is stunning indeed.
Looking down at the craters amidst its smoky screen and rather unpleasant smell is quite an experience :).  The misterious surroundings add the beauty of the place.
The typical vegetation around the area is also interesting to look at.
And the fauna...We were informed by our guide that there is one particular bird, the green parakeets, that has adapted to this rather dangerous habitat with sulfur and smoke and live within the crater. Can you imagine that? They build their nest within the craters and some visitors can see them returning to their nests in the evening or after sunset.
That's why this National Park offers a night tour. 
How cool is that! We would be able to see some of those animals, including the flocks of bats, and I guess, perhaps, some glowing lava :).
But of course, I didn't get a chance to try the night tour as right after this visit, we went to Granada to enjoy the sunset sail at Lake Granada :). For sure I will share it in another post :).

We have to be extra careful at some parts along the edge of the craters because of the loose rocks. But the signs are all clear so you should be okay as long as you follow the rules.

Just some quick notes if you come to this area>
1. It's hot, hot, hot
 Make sure you have your hat and bottles of water to ensure that you are well hydrated. Although it depends on the the time you visit the area, but Nicaragua is generally tprocal in terms of climate.

2. Wear you comfy shoes
Sneakers and walking shoes will be the best, especially if you plan to try the hiking trails. It's also very sandy so the sands might get into your shoes if you don't wear the proper one.

3.  Be careful 
When you walk around or take picture, make sure you observe the area and take precautions. Some part of the area are very loose and slipery because of the sand. And the crater is deep as well. so watch out for your loose items like hats, glasses etc when you look down.

All in all, it was an awesome day for me and the group...
Visiting Masaya Volcano, Nicaragua is highly recommended.

After about spending around 45 minutes there, off we went to the next adventure....
Lake Nicaragua, Granada :)..

Wanna hear the story on that? I'll be right back ...

Managua, Nicaragua in 2 hours...

Cómo estas?

Well, excuse my extremely limited Spanish but I can't help to listen and try to pick up some of those melodious expressions. During my stay in Managua, I certainly picked up some and hopefully I can learn more later on. It's such a beautiful language :).

Soooo...back to my traveling note to Nicaragua now. As I have shared my oh-so-full-of-drama trip before here, now let me share some interesting spots I managed to visit in Managua. In 2 hours ...just before the meeting started.

Biasanya kalau melakukan perjalanan ke satu tempat karena pertemuan resmi memang begini nih. Well, we're here to work but if you can, you can definitely squeeze in some visits to nearby place. Kalau tidak pandai-pandai mengatasinya jadwal, memang agak sulit untuk bisa melihat kota yang kita datangi di sela-sela pertemuan.

Untungnya, karena pengaruh cuaca di Nikaragua yang memang panas, kegiatan banyak dilakukan sejak jam 6 pagi dan selesai jam 2 siang karena panas. jadi, di hari ketiga saya di Managua, saya memutuskan untuk mencoba melihat-liat kota. Setelah mengecek di Google dan tanya teman-teman lokal, saya disarankan untuk naik taksi dari hotel untuk melihat-lihat. Selain karena faktor keamanan dan bahasa spanyol saya yang minim, juga karena pertimbangan waktu yang terbatas.

So, jam 7 pagi saya turun ke lobby, tanya-tanya dan akhirnya memutuskan untuk me nyewa satu taksi. Tujuan saya memang tidak banyak, hanya ingin melihat Antigua Catedral alias the old church di Nicaragua yang sekarang tinggal puing akibat gempa dahsyat tahun 1972 dan sekitar Avenue de Simon Bolivar yang memang menjadi semacam pusat kota. Alhamdulilaaah. ..saya mendapat supir Denis yang bisa berbahaya inggris dan keliling kota selama hampir 2 jam hanya biaya USD 15 alias kurang dari Rp200.000 saja! Murah kan untuk tur keliling kota :).

So, I came to the receptionist and she got me a taxi with English-speaking driver named Denis. Lucky me indeed... and Denis was also very friendly. I explained to him that I only had around 2 hours before the meeting and at least I saw the old Chatedral and walked around Avenue de Simon Bolivar, as we have seen this area the night before.

To my surprise, Denis took me to several beautiful spots beyond that. 

Wanna know what I saw in 2 hours?

Stick around... I'll share some pictures first here :) and will get back with more information.

1. Parque Historico Nacional

It was not on my original list, but I surely enjoyed my visit here.
Up on the hill, we could see the shillouette statue of Sandino, one of the national heroes of the country, standing grandeurly by the tree of life, or amarillo. 

Here we can see the Old Managua and the New Managua as well.

2. Laguna de Tiscapa

From the National Park, we can see the Lake celarly. Too bad Laguna de Tiscapa, or Tiscapa Lake, is heavily poluted now. It looks okay from afar. Denis said there was 

3. Antigua Catedral de Managua

Frankly speaking, this is the reason why I got up early and went out browsing the city :).
It looks abandoned though now, since the tremendous earthquake in 1972 shattered the city, took its toll on the lives of the peoples, including this beautiful church. It was such a beauty...but I learnt that they have build the new church instead of restoring this one.

I have shared some of the pics before and I still have some more. Perhaps I will need to make a special post on it :).

4. Palacio de la Cultural

Standing next to the Old Chatedral of Managua, this lovely building serves as a national museum as well. I love to explore inside but when I was there it was still closed :(. Too bad... But as always, museum is one of the best resources to see and to learn more about one country and its cultures.

4. Casa de los pueblos

Literally it means the House of the peoples. It is located on the other side of the Antigua Catedral. I didn't get in either...I didn't think I was allowed :). But it's good to take picture in front of it with huge statues of Sandino and Rubio.

5. Avenue de Simon Bolivar

For sure you will see many interesting objects around this area, along this main street to be exact. 

Look at all those revolusionarists..

Those include Rotonda Hugo Chavez, statues, the trees of life or amarillos, and more. We have seen how festive this roundabout at night as we arrived in Managua. And seeing it in the middle of the day still give you the same grand feeling around this area that has been specially designed elaboratively. 

Not bad for a 2-hour ride, I guess. And even as we finished the mini tour before 9 AM, it was already scorching hot at that day. By the time I got to the hotel, I managed to get a cool shower, quick breakfast and get ready for the meeting.

Will definitely get back with more stories on my Managua and Granada, Nicaragua trip, including to Volcano de Masaya. So see you all around :)

visiting an active volcano? Why not...

WW: Antigua Catedral de Managua

Antigua Catedral de Managua
Also known as the Catedral de Santiago or the Old Chatedral of Managua..
Truly a gem in the old part of this lovely city...

Join us on (almost) Worldless Wednesday and have a fun bloghopping experience...

A visit to Managua, Nicaragua

I have been dreaming of visiting Latin American countries and I've never thought my dream will come true pretty soon :).

The lovely art from Nicaragua. .

Sejak menjalankan tugas di NYC, saya memang bercita-cita mengunjungi negara - negara Amerika Latin dan Karibia  yang memang notabene jaraknya  sudah lebih dekat dari tempat kami tinggal. Namun setelah dilihat-lihat lagi, ternyata negara - negara tersebut tidak dekat - dekat amat seperti negara - negara di Eropa, terutama Eropa Barat. Saya ingat selama di Geneve, hanya dengan terbang 1 sampai 1.5 jam atau mengendarai mobil selama 3 sampai 4 jam sudah tiba di kota lain, negara lain. Di AS, dengan perjalanan selama itu, kami masih berkutat di negara yang sama hahaha. Hal ini yang membuat perjalanan menjadi lama dan mahal. Makanya, meskipun bercita-cita melihat banyak negara Grulac alias Amerika Latin dan Karibia, kami sekeluarga harus menabung  dulu :). Namun alhamdulilaaah, beberapa waktu yang lalu, saya ditugaskan untuk berpartisipasi dalam seminar tahunan yang akan diselenggarakan di Managua, Nikaragua. Oh step closer to my dream..

Obi yang ngambek karena saya pergi 😢😢😢

As part of my work in the UN Special Committee on the Decolonialization, I was assigned to participate in its annual seminar.  This year, the seminar focuses on the issues related to the Carribean region and Nicaragua has graciously offered to be the host for this year's seminar.
So there I was...running around preparing Indonesian table for the Culture Night in Bo's school a few days before my departure to Managua, the capital of Nicaragua, while at the same time working on the preparation of our own seminar about Islam in Nusantara which will be held at the UN at the end of the month.

And I have to say, what a drama it was the morning I departed :). all was because of the foggy Monday morning in NYC. As usual, I started my Monday with 8.30 AM briefing at my office. My flight was scheduled at 2 PM, so I was planning to go to the La  Guardia airport at 12 PM. Everything was prepared and I went straight home after the meeting 10.30. Then I received an email from my airlines saying that my flight to Altlanta would be delayed and I would miss my connecting flight to Managua because of that. Well, I couldn't change my schedule to the next day as the seminar would have started. So I insisted on flying to Managua on that day with whatever airlines available. After at least 5 phone calls to the airlines and the travel agent, they finally put in a flight 1 hour earlier at 1 PM so that I won't miss my connecting flight.

Gosh... I was literally running to pick up Obi first at 11.30 before the three of us, Obi, my hubby and me, went to La Guardia airport. We were lucky that the traffic was okay and in 15 minutes, we were approaching La Guardia airport. I was so frantic noting that I only have 1 hour before my departure. You can imagine the crazy line we have in the immigration even with my diplomatic passport!

Then my phone was the airline's staff telling me that the earlier plane that I was rebooked  to was full already and I have to take another airline in order to catch my connecting flight to Managua. And that airline would take me through Miami to Managua on that same day. The problem was the plane flew from JFK airport. And it was a different airport from La  Guardia and it took around 20 minutes to go there and I only have more or less 1 hour. Oh my....rushed we went to JFK to catch my new plane -_-"

Again, I was lucky it was my hubby taking me and practically no traffic so I could make it on time. By the time I had my ticket, lined up in immigration and arrived at the gate, I only have some time left before boarding. But I was so relieved that at the end of the day I made it :).

Finally leaving the big apple...

Then after 3 hours flight from NYC to Miami, and 4 hours flight from Miami to Managua, Nicaragua, I finally arrived in the land of Rubio and Sandino.

salon diplomatico at the Airporr..
By the time I arrived, we were waiting for other participants who were coming from different parts of the world. I flew through Miami and some came through Atlanta or Panama City. Although it was only 8 hours flying in total, for me it was so tiring already. Or perhaps it was due to so emotional rides I have to go through before leaving, hahaha...but I truly enjoyed the ride from the Airporr to the hotel. Very festive and merrily decorated Avenue de Simon Bolivar, with its line of amarillo or the tree of life and El Comandante Chavez :)

El Comanandante Chavez at one of the roundabouts..

But by the time I arrived in the hotel, it was almost 10 PM already so I decided to umpack and order some dinner. I got yummy broccoli cream sop and some local dish of fried green plantain and queso frito, fried cheese. Yuuuum yuuuum...

My dinner...yuuum yuuum..
As the morning came, I managed to hit the pool and got everything ready for the seminar.

the whole pool for myself :)

It was a series if productive meetings regarding the UN works on Decolonialization Committee. Well, I'm not gonna share that here but we will continue the work in NY for sure :). 

Then, as the courtesy of the host, the Government of Nicaragua, we had dinner cruise at Xolotlan Lake that night. Fun time getting to know one another closer and lobby them at the same time :). But for sure, I got a chance to arrange my little trip the next morning to see the beauty of the Managua city before continuing the meeting, including the historical Antigua Catedral de Nicaragua.

Wanna see more of the land of Rubio and Sandino? I'll be right back :)

Sunset at Lago de Nicaragua, Granada, Nicaragua

Sunset ....

As it magically appears, wherever I am, it always succeeds in holding my breath. 
Surely those concerts of colors bursting out on the sky never fail to capture my full attention and admiration to the Creator ...

Maybe my futile reaction in trying to immortalize this vivid beauty will continue till the rest of my life..
So, bear with me.....

Sunset at Lago de Managua, Granada, Nicaragua

Link with us Skywatch Friday and see the many colorful skies from different corners of the world

WW: Rotonda de Hugo Chavez, Managua, Nicaragua

A glimpse of the city that I am currently visiting :)

Rotonda de Hugo Chavez, Managua, Nicaragua. ..

Will definitely be back with more stories...
Join us on Wordless Wednesday and have fun bloghopping :)