Friday, October 22, 2010

Day #7 in Honduras (Part # 1) -- Touring Gracias and preparing to leave

The morning of our last day in Gracias, Honduras -- and Mackenzie is still trying to learn Spanish by the "immersion" method. I mean, seriously -- is there any better way to learn another language than by watching cartoons??

Luggage was all packed and ready to go.

Kenzie decided to do something special for the maids -- she used a bath towel to create a swan, like she'd learned on our last cruise.  I was surprised that she remembered how to do it, but obviously, she's very good at remembering all those creative-types of things!

Kenzie posing with our favorite waiter, Fernando -- whose name (I found out on this last day) is really Joni Fernando!!  Hope he didn't mind us using a shortened version all week long....... : (

While waiting for us to get ready for our tour around the city, Kenzie took one last opportunity to relax by the pool.

Then we hopped into Allan's LandCruiser and began our tour of the city.  Now, we had been through almost the entire city during the course of the week, but we were always on our way to or from shopping, or the wedding, or some other event.  I had seen several things that I really wanted to get a better look at before leaving Gracias, so I asked for a last-minute guided tour, 'cause who knows when I'll ever get a chance to go back there again?

Unfortunately, I didn't write down the name of this church, and I've spent entirely too much time on the internet trying to research it with no success, so I'm going to have to ask my Honduran-living relatives to fill me in on this one. Trish -- help???

These huge trees are called ceiba (pronounced "say-ba") and they grow to enormous proportions.  We saw many of these while in Honduras.

We drove down this side street and stopped to get a picture of the scenery and the gardens of the house on the left.

Another shot of the wall and garden.

San Marcos church next to the central park.

This church has beautiful gates -- actually, the entire church is beautiful!

The sanctuary and altar inside San Marcos.

A closer view of the altar area.

A view of the door of the church from the inside looking out.

The side of the church.

The park next to the church was remodeled about two years ago and contains some very interesting things..... this is a statue of Lempira, a chief of the Lencas. 

This is the visitor's center in the park.

Mackenzie found this tree and its flowers to be interesting, partly because she loves the color orange and partly because the blossoms were so large and resembled lilies.

These two statues made me laugh.  I'm assuming the one is Mary and Jesus; the other, I forgot who it was -- but the part that made me laugh was that someone (maybe during the last renovation?) decided to paint the hair, glasses, moustaches, etc. on these statues with black paint.  It just made them look funny to me!

This is the "Palacio Municipal" which I believe was where the government offices were located.

A monument in the park -- I couldn't determine what it was for.

And a statue dedicated to the workers of Gracias.

Who decided that a police station should look like a castle or a fort?  This building had turret-like structures on the ends.  Very interesting!!  Hopefully, I won't be thrown into the tower for commenting on this unusual architectural design!

Even the entrance looks like a castle door!

This is the Iglesia la Merced.  I wish we could've gone inside, as I'd seen some beautiful pictures of it on the web.  It supposedly is the oldest church in Gracias, and it certainly is lovely.

The view down another side street.  I just couldn't stop taking pictures of the mountains and the clouds over them -- they're so incredibly beautiful.

These were the stores and shops located across the street from our hotel.  I wish I'd had more time to explore a bit!

This is what the taxi cabs in Gracias look like.  I cannot begin to imagine how bumpy those things must be with three wheels and driving on cobblestone streets.  My back starts to ache just thinking about it!

Every bank that I saw had at least one armed guard in front of it.  I don't know how well these guys are trained -- or if they are trained at all -- but I know I wouldn't mess around with someone carrying a gun that large! 

I saw several places during the week that had World Vision's logo on it.  Apparently, some of their visiting staff was staying at our hotel the last day we were there.

And then it was time to start packing the LandCruiser.  We had to put seven people and the luggage for that many people into the Cruiser.  We finally decided that it might just be easier and better if we put most of it on the roof and give ourselves a bit more leg room.

Finally, after getting it all strapped down, it was time to start the long drive back to San Pedro Sula.  More on the drive and our stay in the city in my next blog posting.


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