Yesterday morning, we took the Atenas bus to San José because we wanted to have breakfast there and do a bit of shopping.
Got off at the Coca Cola bus station (used to be a Coca Cola bottling facility, then became a bus station but the name still is used and you need to know this if you want your taxi driver to get you to the right place when time to go home).
Walked up to the pedestrian mall (Avenida Centro), which runs eight blocks from calle 6 to calle 9. This is the financial district ... and is the vibrant heart of San José, I think. So much activity, lots of people around. Some stores were closed, some were open because of the early hour. We wanted to find a bank and ATM's and lo and behold, we quickly found a Banco de Costa Rica.
Coming from a small farming community like Atenas, we are used to our BCR having only three ATM's and I think about eight tellers not necessarily all open at the same time. Even the ATM's don't aways work at the same time.
This San José BCR had two floors and lots of people to help us out. It was also very, very busy ... you get your ticket from the kiosk ... for us it was one transaction which I am used to ... but it was so fast to get to my assigned teller .. you have to pay attention to the voice and video recordings on where you need to line up and it is in Spanish. It also opened at 8:30 am whereas our Atenas bank doesn't open until 9:00 am.
Our banking done, we strolled on up the avenue, as the song goes. We found a shoe store and Lance bought himself some shoes. Next we went looking for a place to have breakfast and decided on the Gran Hotel, situated on the Plaza de La Cultura and across from the Teatro Nacional (National Theater). This hotel has been declared an historical and architectual monument by the government. They have an outdoor patio but we ate inside. As usual, it was a beautiful day and the tropical breezes were blowing in through open doors and windows.
We each ordered the bacon omelet which had strips of bacon inside and smothered in fresh tomatoes on top. A large bowl of Costa Rican mixed fruit was also included. For drinks, I had a mixed fruit bebida (drink) and Lance ordered a mora bebida (mora is "blackberry"). Excellent service.
We enjoyed our morning in the city and must do it more often. It's just an hour away by bus from Atenas.
|Pigeons bathing in the hotel patio fountain.|