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Friday, November 9, 2012

Teatro Nacional de Costa Rica

This post is in remembrance of my nephew, Allan Michael Miskell, November 10, 1983 - March 22, 2006. He was a gifted musician and would have loved going to the Teatro Nacional.

This past Sunday, November 4, we had tickets for the X Concierto of Los Gavilanes (The Hawks) at the historic National Theatre of Costa Rica (Teatro Nacional de Costa Rica).

Construction was started in 1891 and it opened in 1897. The building is considered the finest historic building in San Jose. The lobby is beautiful, with marble floors and paintings depicting life in the 19th century. There is a very good café on site also.

We went with our neighbors, Rosemary and Tony - the four of us took the 0900 bus from Atenas to San Jose. We had a real cowboy of a bus driver this time - only 48 minutes from Atenas to San Jose, a new record. Rounding some of those mountain s-curves on the bus was a new experience.

Arriving at the Coca Cola bus station in San Jose, it was a short taxi ride to Teatro Nacional. We picked up our tickets and climbed up to the third balcony. We were fortunate to get our tickets at a reduced price through the Atenas School of Music. The concert started at 1030.

Ono Mora, Atenas' very own tenor.

No flash allowed, so it was hard to take a clear photo. The ceiling is completely painted in a mural.

The white panel hanging from the ceiling displays the words to the music, in Spanish of course.

It was amazing to be in this historic theatre listening to a live performance. The orchestra was excellent and, of course, so too were the choir and the invited soloists. Imagine all the people from the past who have sat right where we were sitting.

The concert ended at noon and we started walking towards the Coca Cola bus station, stopping en route at a food fair for lunch. We thought our bus left at 1300 on Sundays but turns out it is 1330. No problem - benches to sit on and people to watch. Cost for one person to ride from San Jose to Atenas: 855 colones or about $1.70 CAD or USD. The buses are very comfortable. Sometimes the driver plays Latin music or has a radio station playing.

There is a fellow who often shows up selling water, pop, snacks and so on and there are no rules against consuming them on the bus - another thing I like about Costa Rica. This guy knows us now and  we get hugs and handshakes - he speaks Spanish, English and French. He always hands us water bottles.

Our bus arrives.
How did the Coca Cola bus station get it's name, you ask? There used to be a Coca Cola bottling facility here, now long gone, but the name remains because navigation in Costa Rica is by landmarks. This is changing in San Jose though - street signs are starting to go up.


Photolera Claudinha said...

What a lovely memorial for your nephew, lost much too young! The theatre looks like a true landmark. I love those bus rides, too, and the interaction between passengers. Thanks!

Diana said...

Thank you, Claudia - Allan would have been playing percussion in an orchestra just like this one if not for the leukemia.