As described in yesterday’s post San Salvador is a city of two halves, today I got to see a bit more of the city. Cristina and I decided we would first head to the bus station to get a ticket to Honduras for me and then wander round the ‘sights’. The sights really didn’t consist of much, a cathedral which had a fairly impressive dome, the national library which was a depressing concrete affair, the national palace which apparently has a lot of empty rooms and not a lot else and then there was Iglesia El Rosario; it is a rare non-colonial structure with a rainbow of colored glass across its belly. The soaring arched roof covers a unique interior adorned with scrap-metal figures, it is one of the ugliest buildings I have ever seen but inside when the light shines through the glass to cast a rainbow it completely transforms. Before we parted ways we went to a juice/smoothie stand where we had different but equally refreshing smoothies, rather peculiarly they were served in a plastic bag with a straw. We had a tasty lunch at a local restaurant then said our goodbyes as I went for my bus to Honduras and Cristina went to explore one of the towns in the vicinity of San Salvador.
Sights might not be in abundance but there is definitely an abundance of razor and barbed wire. Every single building (including churches and the cathedral) all have walls topped with some form of sharp wire. when we asked a local and enquired if it was dangerous he dutifully informed us it was safe but the prison/fortress like protection we saw adorning every building said otherwise. Having said that whilst we walked the streets we didn’t feel unsafe although I’m not too sure how keen I would be to wander alone after nightfall. Even once we had driven out of thew city the vast majority of houses were heavily protected, clearly there is truth behind the statistics.
After 4 hours on the road we reached the border with Honduras and thankfully it was less busy than when we entered El Salvador and we were through in 45 minutes. The border control into Honduras is the strictest I have encountered, full finger and thumb prints were taken, a mug shot was taken, they scanned my passport and input my job, home residence and a few other details until their computer. I didn’t think I would bother telling him I was probably only staying for a day. As we went further into the country the sun started to set and the light cast onto the surrounding hills highlighted the impressive topography we were driving through.
The bus station in Tegucigalpa (the capital) was a fair way ouit of town so I took a taxi to my hostel, about 25 minutes away, during the journey I chatted to my derived about football as Honduras were playing El Salvador, I thought we were going to crash when Honduras scored their first goal and the driver celebrated (Honduras won 2-0). We went on to talk about English football and the driver said he knew 4 London clubs: Arsenal, Tottenham Hotspur, Chelsea and Manchester City. I tried to tell him that Manchester wasn’t in London but he didn’t understand, the main thin was he knew who Arsenal were.