Pura Vida Travels - A Guide To Travel In Latin America








On Friday, September 15, 2006 Costa Rica celebrated 185 years of independence. The party kicks off on Thursday night at 6 PM when the entire country sings the national anthem. This is followed by a fireworks show. I decided to try out my nighttime photography skills and get some shots of the fireworks. The only problem was that there is one tall building in San Jose (the Holiday Inn) and it was between me and the fireworks. I did the best I could under the circumstances.


Heredia, Costa Rica

Fireworks

Fireworks

Fireworks

Fireworks

Fireworks

Fireworks

Fireworks

Fireworks

Fireworks

Fireworks

Fireworks

Fireworks

Fireworks

Fireworks
If you don't like the sound of drums stay away from Costa Rica on Independence Day. I think every male in the country is required by law to bang a drum for at least 8 hours on that day. I'm not sure why that is but you see people carrying drums everywhere. The young girls wear red, white, and blue dresses that are really cute. The day started with a huge parade that was on national television. I think everyone in town was there as it was packed. It would prove to be an interesting day.


Parade

Parade

Parade

Parade

Parade

Good Humor man

Cool dress

Live TV

Parade
Up until this point it had been a great day and then all hell broke loose. I have no idea what caused it but a group of kids attacked a couple of the marchers in the parade and the place went nuts. The guys who had previously been doing a ceremonial routine with their flags were now beating people with them. Police, spectators, etc. came rushing in from all directions and I was standing right in the middle of it all. At that point I was more than a little concerned for my safety so I backed off a bit. Thankfully, things calmed down quickly and the parade resumed.


The "riot"

More of the parade

More of the parade

Parade

Spectators

Spectators
I decided to take a break from the drums and look around in the Metropolitan Cathedral. It's truly a spectacular structure. The stained glass windows are massive and were handmade in Paris in the early 1900's. I took the pictures without a flash in deference to the people that were there praying so some of them are a bit blurry.


More drums

More drums

Stained glass

Stained glass

Stained glass

Stained glass

Metropolitan Cathedral

Metropolitan Cathedral

Metropolitan Cathedral

Metropolitan Cathedral

Metropolitan Cathedral

Metropolitan Cathedral

Metropolitan Cathedral

Metropolitan Cathedral

Cute dress
After churching myself up I decided to tour some areas of town I had never been to so I headed over to the central mercado. On my way I ran in to the group of drunk kids in the photo below. These were the same kids that had attacked the marchers in the parade. The smell of alcohol coming off the was so strong I think you could get drunk just being downwind of them. I guess it explains their behavior.


Drunken teens

The Ron Popeil of Costa Rica

Street vendors

Everyone loves a clown, except me

The fat lady statue

Fresh flowers

The lottery "office"

Mamones

Fresh pollo

Costa Rica has awesome bakeries


A Day In Cartago


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