San Salvador City Tour


catedral metropolitana de san salvador, san salvador cathedralSan Salvador Cathedral, from the backseat of a car, with the window rolled up because I was afraid someone would steal my camera.The nice part about having visitors — in addition to spending time with those near and dear to us — is that it gives us an excuse to do all the touristy things that we otherwise wouldn’t do. When we first moved here — and even as recently as my staycation in between jobs — I was super-enthusiastic about seeing all the sights and visiting as many places as possible.puerta del diablo, panchimalco, planes de renderosPanchimalco.I wouldn’t say that enthusiasm has waned, per se; it’s just been superseded by my love of sleep. Or, say, watching back-to-back movies and spending a total of five hours at the movie theater on a Sunday afternoon. You know, priorities.palacio nacional, national palace el salvadorPalacio Nacional.But seriously, work and life generally has a way of filling up one’s calendar and putting off a visit to the San Salvador Cathedral or custom-ordering a non-termite-filled sawhorse desk. I always say, “Oh, we’ll do that next weekend” or “after the holidays” or “once this busy week at work is over,” and the next thing you know, a year has gone by and I can count on two hands the number of months we have left in El Salvador.centro des historia militar, military history museum el salvador, popemobile el salvador, papamovil el salvadorRaised-relief map of El Salvador at the Centro de Historia Militar.That’s why we took advantage of Kail’s parents’ visit to see El Salvador through their eyes and check a couple local sites off our “to visit” bucket list, including the chapel at Hospital Divina Providencia, where Monsignor Romero was assassinated; Centro Monsignor Romero at Universidad Centroamericana, a museum and chapel dedicated to Monsignor Romero and the Jesuit martyrs killed at la UCA; Catedral Metropolitana de San Salvador, the main church of the Archdiocese of San Salvador and the site of Monsignor Romero’s tomb; Centro de Historia Militar, the military history museum; and La Puerta del Diablo a well-known mirador/mini hike with a beautiful view (although we did not hike to the top because it was the last stop on our day-long tour and we were tired!).centro des historia militar, military history museum el salvador, popemobile el salvador, papamovil el salvadorEl Papamóvil, the Popemobile from Pope John Paul II’s 1983 and 1996 visits to El Salvador.Phew! It makes me tired just thinking about doing all those (self-guided) tours and driving all over the city (OK, we were driven around, but still). Oh I almost forgot the most important stop: lunch at Pollo Campero (the same day as their big fireworks show).centro des historia militar, military history museum el salvadorI’m not sure what to do with my hands.”It sounds like a lot — too much — but really, all these stops make the perfect daylong city tour. Nothing is that far apart — it’s just a matter of finding one’s way and navigating traffic, which is why hiring a driver is the best option. As sad as the history is, I really liked learning about Monsignor Romero and the Jesuit martyrs. And I’m so glad I finally got to see the cathedral up close and personal because I have seen its large white dome from a distance ever since we moved here.We learned the hard way that, although all of these sites are open on Saturdays, you should call in advance to make an appointment with a guide because we got a lot of “Fíjese que there isn’t a guide available right now.” So we’ll know better for next time!What are some of the things you enjoy doing as a “tourist” in your own home city?

Published by La Vie Overseas

I'm Natasha -- writer, runner and wife to a Foreign Service Officer with USAID. Current location: Frankfurt, Germany.

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