Trompe le Monde: A Round the World Tour Diary

An online travel diary so people can keep up to date with what I'm doing and where I'm going.

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Saturday, June 04, 2005

Granada and León

Granada and León are the two oldest cities in Nicaragua. For centuries they've been in competition. Traditionally the main city for the Liberals, León used to be the capital, which resulted in various wars between it and historically-Conservative Granada, including American imperialist General William Walker (ha ha... Willy Walker) once being hired by León to sack Granada, which he did and then proceeded to take over Nicaragua (and attempt to take the rest of Central America too), before being captured by the British Navy.

In more recent times, after the capital was moved to Managua (between the two, you see), Nicaragua has still not quite been 100% peaceful. There was a little matter of a revolution, and an attempted counter-revolution, and... stuff. To be (slightly) more precise, the Sandinistas (like the Clash album of the same name) overthrew US-backed right-wing dictator Somoza, and were in turn nearly overthrown by the US-backed Contras. The US has had it's grubby fingers in a lot of pies down here. Anyway, while León was Sandinista town, Granada had more in common with the Contras.

I'm currently in Granada, having spent the last few days in León, and I can confirm that they're both very pleasant. Like most Central American towns, they have a lovely central plaza, a big cathedral, various smaller churches and a general sense of faded colonial grandeur and history to them. And not much else, really. Pleasant, rather than great.

As for which is better, well that depends what you want. Granada's cathedral is nicer on the outside, León's on the inside. León is unbearably hot (I was sweating profusely while playing cards outside in a shady courtyard at half ten at night), Granada unbearably humid. Granada was burnt to the ground by William Walker, León razed by Somocistas during the civil war. They're much of a muchness, to be honest.

Come to think of it, this whole thing could have made a half-decent parable about the general similarities of politicians from both sides of the spectrum... Oh well, too late now...

2 Comments:

Blogger Roberto Iza Valdes said...

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November 2, 2005 at 3:41 AM  
Blogger Iza Firewall said...

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August 24, 2007 at 2:42 PM  

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