Costa Rica Journal - July 27, 2001 22:20 Local Time

We got a very early start this morning, leaving the lake at 4:30am for our 8am flight to Miami and then to San Jose, Costa Rica. We took a short drive through the city to the hotel...the city is incredibly clean for being a large city like this. Our guide, Alexander, told us that the entire country has less than 4 million people in it (i.e. the population of Atlanta) and that San Jose has probably 100,000 people in it. The streets don't have garbage in the gutters and that New York City grime is missing. All cars here use leaded gas or diesel fuel, though, so there definetly is air pollution.

After getting checked in to the Hotel, we took a cab (per our guide's suggestion, we told the driver "Maria, por favor" which reminds them to reset the meter since they sometimes "forget") back downtown to the Mueseo de Oro (Gold Museum). The gold exhibit was closed for renovations, but we did get to see a history of the coffee token (what workers were paid with before they had real money) and some local art. After that, we headed to McDonald's and Taco Bell for lunch (when in Rome, do as Romans do) and then to the Teatro Nacional (National Theater). The theater was built from 1890-1897 since Costa Rica did not previously have anywhere that artists could perform. Our tour guide for that, Chris, also told us that San Jose was the third city in the world to have electric power (after New York and Paris), which I thought was interesting.

Back at the hotel once again, we had dinner here (I had a Filet Mignon with chocolate cake for dessert), then I snapped a few pictures of the front of the hotel (2) and then the jacuzzi with the moon in the background before heading off to bed.

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