Thursday, October 27, 2016

San Jose, Costa Rica

"Do you know the way to San Jose?"

We didn't, but our phone did, so we easily found the capital and largest city in Costa Rica. The traffic is crazy with lots of horn honking as buses, cars, trucks, motorcycles, and pedestrians fight for their share of the street. We quickly realized that stop signs are only a suggestion and drove accordingly after that.
Our first stop was the National Museum which is housed in an interesting old army barracks building. At the entrance is this modern glass and steel structure that protects one of the famous Stone Spheres. You might wonder what they are. So does everyone else here.
They were first found in 1940 in an area near Golfito on the southwest coast. Banana plantations were being developed, and the tractors kept unearthing these big stone balls. Several were pushed aside, broken up, sold as garden ornaments, and generally vandalized before someone (Doris Stone) said, "Wait, these have archeological significance. We should study them".

They range in size from 12" to over 6' in diameter and are still scattered all over the country. These were inside the museum...
and there were more outside and also some in the butterfly garden.

Unfortunately, no one really knows who made them, how they were made, or what they were used for. The secrets of the culture that created them has been lost with the passage of time.

We also visited the National Theatre. This gorgeous building is almost 120 years old and still used regularly for performances. The inside is gorgeous too, with marble sculptures, gold leaf mouldings, and etched glass.

We really enjoyed visiting San Jose, but two days of the noisy, hustle bustle of the city was all we could take so we're off to the mountains next.

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