A Travellerspoint blog

Walking around San José

What a difference 12 hours of sleep can make

semi-overcast 26 °C

Day 3 Feb 5, 2015

What a difference 12 hours of sleep can make! Rested and fuelled by a buffet breakfast we were ready to start our day. Guide and maps in hand we headed out. We took a different route than yesterday and were surprised by the different impression we got of the city. Yesterday the skies were threatening and the town seemed somewhat shabby. Today the skies were bright blue and we wandered through lush parks and past ornate colonial buildings. Our destination was the Museo Nacional de Costa Rica.

We’d read the reviews on Trip Advisor but decided to go to the museum anyway as it was close to our hotel and only $10. Turned out to be a nice little museum that gave us a good overview of the human and natural history of Costa Rica. It’s in a decommissioned citadel, love this part…after a coup by the Liberation Army that over threw the military govt’ in 1948 they abolished themselves and turned their fort into a museum. It also incorporates the commanders Victorian home. But…the first part of the museum was a butterfly garden where the beautiful creatures tortured Fred by taking off just as he was set to click.


The museum had a large collection stone spheres that were made by the indigenous people 300-1500ad. They range in size from a few cms up to 2.5 mtrs in diameter and weighted up to 24 ton.


San José has several pedestrian malls. The main one is 7 blocks long, busy, and lined with stores and restaurants. San Joseans must like their shoes as there’s an abundance of nice shoes stores. Prices for most things are about the same, if not more expensive than home. Towards the end of the mall is the Mercardo Central, a maze of small shops and restaurants selling everything from chickens flowers, craft supplies and tourist stuff. We stopped for lunch where despite the English translations on the menu and Fred’s limited Spanish, Gail didn’t get what she was expecting. That’s make-your-own beef vegetable soup with a large plate of various veggies and a big chunk of boiled cow that one simply added to a bowl of soup.


Another pedestrian mall took us back towards home. This one seemed was lower end. Lady’s laid out piles of soxs (no doubt to go with those shoes) on blankets on the sidewalk ready to scoop them up when notice of policia in area came thought. There are a lot of police about, mostly very young and chatting with each other although a few are on motorcycles and others in cars.


The clouds have rolled in again. Think this might be the weather pattern.

Posted by Colenso 15:17 Archived in Costa Rica

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