Wandering the Avenidas and Calles
02/07/2015 28 °C
Day 5 Feb 7, 2015
We had both read warnings about crime in San José including pickpockets, robberies, assaults, etc, all reported to be on the increase. We even know people who have been victims in the past while in Costa Rica on holiday. In San José there is a noticeable amount of razor wire strung in small circles around the tops of metal or concrete fencing. Our hotel has a person standing out from and other small hotels in the area have bells or locks. Saying all of this, neither one of us has seen any incidences or had a sense that our personal safety has been a possible concern. In the area we are staying, there are a lot of police walking, riding or standing around in groups. We are vigilant and do take precautions to avoid incidents. So far all is well. Fingers crossed it will continue.
Most attractions in San José are either museums or getting out of town. Today we didn’t feel like either so we headed out to see what we could find with emphasis on a bank machine and contact lens cleaner. We found an ATM at the Scotia Band that gave you a choice of working in English or Spanish plus receiving either Colons or US $ (gotta love those Canadian Banks). We then headed over to find what was advertised as a national artists market but was in fact a tourist market with a Costa Rican bent. Course, we were tourists so we bought a few things.
From there we continued on occasionally trying to mime ‘hard contact lens cleaning solution’ to clerks and were finally successful finding a brand made in Mexico. We carried on looking for the John Lennon statue we read about in our guidebook. He’s either in bad favour and was removed from the plaza or in good favour and stolen. Over to check out a few other sites…the Teatro National (national theatre) with the most beautiful coleus display we’d ever seen and some very neat braided fig trees. San Jose has amazing bakeries. Their pastries are delicious and then there’s the cakes, mind you, a menacing dragon cake can set you back 150,000 colons…about $300.
We also walked over to El Museo de Arte y Diseño Contemporáneo (Museum of Contemporary Art and Design) and strolled thru the gallery. The museum is in a complex of national offices of culture and theatre converted from an old distillery compound. Latin American’s mix the very modern and old better together well.
It was Saturday afternoon and the pedestrian mall was getting very busy. More ladies with sox for sale, men selling DVD’s, lottery tickets and other assorted treasures. Back to the hotel in the afternoon. Tonight we meet up with our group.