I had great luck with my transportation to Leon. It was much easier than it should have been, being that it was Sunday and schedules are off (more than usual). After taking a ferry back to San Jorge I got a cab to a bus station (a kiosk on the side of the road in Rivas). About 10 minutes later I was running to jump on to a moving bus that was going to Managua. Usually you have to take a cab to a different minibus station in Managua to go to Leon (La UCA) but for whatever reason I paid a little extra to be dropped off at La UCA (good luck I guess). Then it was only another hour plus to Leon. From Ometepe it took me just four hours, and about 10$ to get here.
After being dropped off at my hotel I began to wonder around the city. I could not help but notice that almost no one was wondering with me. It was like a ghost town. Partially because of the fact it was Sunday, but also because (I quickly learned) everyone hunkers down during the hottest part of the day. Most stores were closed, as well as restaurants, curches, etc.
The above picture is La Recoleccion (near my hostel), built in 1786.
There is gorgeous tile work all over Leon.
They are looking for a girl with experience (written on an unmarked door, mind you)... I should have applied.
El Calvario, built at the end of the 16th century with a French neoclassical facade. Gorgeous.
A popular street vendor selling cut mango.
Iglesia de San Francisco. The oldest convent with a church in the city of Leon.
A beautiful carved altar inside San Francisco.
(Most of the chruches reopen at 4.)
The bell tower of La Merced, built in 1615.
Interior of La Merced.
Obviously, Leon is known for its churches.
There are twelve large chruches to explore, but the biggest church of all, taking up an entire city block, is la Basilica de la Asuncion, which took 113 years to complete (finished in 1859).
The work on Asuncion is very detailed.
There was a service going on when I was at the Basilica.
I sang Glory, Glory, Hallelujah! Well, the parts that I knew. You know, from the title of the song...
The city still bears scars from earthquakes and battles over the past 500 years.
I would have loved to see this door when it was built, but I suppose it tells more of a story as it is now.