Day 2 was an amazing day. We packed up our belongings, said "adios" to Granada and headed back to Managua. On our way out we visited the cemetery where journalist Pedro Joaquin Chamorro is buried, and we made 3 more stops before arriving in Managua. First we visited the Valentín López Pottery School and got to see how a master ceramicist creates his beautiful pottery from start to finish. Among many things, we learned how the designs painted or carved into each pot are inspired by the land and nature.
After we finished at the school, we stopped in the town of Niquinohomo where the famous Nicaraguan guerrilla leader, Augusto César Sandino was born. We toured the house where he lived with his father, stepmother, and half-brother. Then we were off to the Masaya Volcano National Park to see an ACTIVE volcano. It had erupted back in January and we were lucky that It had just reopened. We were told we could only be up there for 5 minutes, but in our short time there we were able to take pictures and see and hear the red hot lava boiling down below in the crater. It was an amazing site to have witnessed.
After we left the volcano we travelled into Managua to meet with musician Carlos Mejía Godoy. He is an internationally known Nicaraguan musician who composes and sings songs about his country. He told us about Nicaraguan music and about his own songs, some of which he sang for us. We also enjoyed lunch in his restaurant. Then our guide, Lenin, showed us the different areas of Managua, especially the part that was reconstructed after the 1972 earthquake. For example, a memorial statue of Sandino (created by the famous Nicaraguan priest/poet/sculptor, Ernesto Cardenal) stands where the presidential palace once stood atop a hill overlooking the city. Then we drove to the Plaza of the Revolution where we saw the hollowed out remains of the cathedral of Managua; the grave and memorial of FSLN founder, Carlos Fonseca Amador; and what once was the National Palace and now houses the National Museum. We then drove for an hour and a half to Leon, where we checked into another gorgeous hotel and enjoyed a delicious dinner at El Sesteo.
We are very excited to see what tomorrow has in store.