Granada is a beautiful colonial city. Most of the tourist action is within a few blocks of the central park: hotels, restaurants, shops and tourist attractions
Must Do: Climb to the top of Iglesia Merced
For the best views in the city, pay $1 to climb the circular staircase up a few flights (it’s not that high) to the top of Iglesia Merced. The exterior of the church is very pretty, but it’s the chance to peer behind the gated facades of all the buildings into (slightly) the courtyards beyond. It’s a popular tourist spot, but the climb is quick.
For a small town with a downtown of about 3 blocks plus a beach strip, there are a ton of places to eat and drink in San Juan del Sur, so this is my second round up of the places to eat and drink. I have moved on to new spots in Nicaragua, but I never got bored in San Juan del Sur.
Bocadito Tapas is the only place in San Juan del Sur where I was able to get a properly chilled glass of sauvignon blanc. Not even Pelican Eyes had this! It is a key selling point. They also have a nice front patio and some very tasty tapas which are not pricey either. Nothing is pricey in San Juan del Sur. A selling point for the entire town!
La Vecchia Signora
A few of us from Spanish school took a night off from our home meals and enjoyed some pretty good quality pizza at La Vecchia Signora. Located right in the middle of town, it’s run by Italians who are crazy fans of Italian football club Juventus – you can tell the moment you step in. We split a couple of different pizzas and they were good – especially when all you’ve been eating for three weeks is gallo pinto!
I got to participate in a really fun activity in San Juan del Sur – cooking and eating Nacatamales in a local’s backyard.
Nacatamales are a traditional Nicaraguan food and a twist on the tamales most of us have had in Mexican restaurants. Cooked in banana leaves over a flame for hours (4-5 in this case), they are very big and contain meat, corn meal, rice, potatoes, onions, tomatoes, peppers and mint. Here in Nicaragua, they are popularly served for special occasions like Christmas and Sunday breakfast. I and a group of others from the Spanish school had them on a Friday afternoon. We’re so untraditional.
I am getting 3 square meals a day in my home stay, but sometimes a girl needs a change from Nica cuisine. There’s only so much rice and beans and chicken one can take, and I like that food!
Fortunately, San Juan del Sur has tons of options for eating and drinking. For a small beach town, there is a huge variety of bars, cafes and restaurants. Most cuisines are represented: Italian, vegetarian, sushi, Chinese, Indian etc.
Below are just a few of the dining spots I have visited in town.
One of the only craft breweries in the country, this is a nice spot to grab a beer and sit in the open air restaurant. So far, I’ve only tried one of their original beers, so I have to get back for some more! I went during happy hour and paid about $2.5o for a pint of good beer.
Before coming to Austria, and the Alps no less, I had imagined there would be good eats here. I expected the food would not be as good as our ski trip in Italy a few years back, but I was incorrect. It’s different from Italian food, obviously, but still really good! Plus, we can ski over to Switzerland and they’ve got some pretty yummy meals too! Good thing we are getting exercise skiing with all this good food.
Christmas Dinner: Chinoise Fondue and Austrian Red Wine
Already mentioned our delicious first night’s dinner – which we ate at 6PM because we were so tired from all the travel LOL early bird special! The fondue came with totally unnecessary baked potatoes.
We got lucky! We had 3 flights plus a rental car trip to take us from Toronto on Christmas Eve early afternoon through into the Austrian Alps on Christmas afternoon, and all of them were on time and had plenty of room for our non-checked bags! Merry Christmas indeed!
Toronto to Detroit
Easy, on time and Detroit is a pretty fun airport! They have a tunnel to take you between terminals and they play great Motown tunes and change the light so it’s a fun experience for airport movement. We enjoyed the disco tunnel, Detroit!
For a small city, there are tons of eating options in Reykjavik. Even the “budget” meals are not cheap, though, so it’s worth it to choose wisely or stop worrying about costs.
Fish & Chips
Seafood is big in Iceland – you can get fish stew in many places, and fish and chips is a hot item. Near the harbour in Reykjavik, there are 2 top options right across the street from one another: Icelandic Fish and Chips and Reykjavik Fish. We headed that way on Saturday because our guide book recommended the former, but it looked too stuffy and was empty, so we went into the hipper looking Reykjavik Fish. Not cheap, but delicious.
We both went for the combo #1 – Fish and Chips with one sauce and a draft beer for $32 KR. You can also order a la carte but we went for the shebang. The fish was really lightly battered and delicate, and delicious. Viking beer is the basic Icelandic lager which tastes perfectly fine. Fries were OK.
The place is big and very Nordic looking. You order at the front and they bring it to your table when it’s ready. It’s a much nicer looking place than your typical casual dining spot back home, but you’re also paying way more! But when in Iceland… I imagine the prices were similar across the street.
Our fourth day on the road in Iceland took us from the Eastern Fjords to the Northern and the Arctic, with a lot of interesting and picturesque stops in between! We even got to really use the 4WD. Brian was happy about that!