Monday, March 5, 2012

Trip to Lares

Last week friend Liz and I went on a day trip to the city of Lares. For years I have wanted to go to the famed ice cream place that has bizarre flavors like arroz con pollo (chicken and rice), plantain etc. Jeff and I are always passing Lares late at night after caving and so far haven't bothered trying to stop in. I am not a huge ice cream fan but some things deserve a try! We met on 111and did the short drive to town. We headed toward the plaza, locating it by looking upward for the tell-tale church that is always at the town center. Lares has a dismal little plaza that is brick,with a rebel head in the middle of it and absolutely no one around. We found the ice cream place and there were a few unusual flavors but nothing was really extraordinary. I tried a sample of the rice and beans and a couple others before settling on tamarind. The ice cream didn't have any cream in it, just loads and loads of sugar and a funny texture/taste from evaporated milk or condensed milk maybe? Really awful but...the church was not a disappointment!
A church always anchors the plaza - kind of the way Sears anchors a modern mall. The church is the Iglesia San Jose.
I am not the religious sort but enjoy looking at the creepy statues and displays I find in and around churches. I guess this chick is pretty important since she is larger than life, larger than the guy on the cross and has her foot squashing some poor creature that doesn't quite look like a dog with a ball but doesn't look like a serpent with an apple either. Like I said- creepy.Then there are always the figures gazing upward with exaggerated features - in this case huge hands.

After that I started to see some beauty. The stained glass arched windows were lovely and there was a series of chandeliers on either side of the room. The chandeliers had a single glass ball hanging downward from some ornate ironwork. When I looked closer I could see the upside down reflection of parts of the room in the ball. In this case I could see the twin trees outside the door and the stained glass and doorway. There are also a couple columns there as well.
I continued down the aisle and caught the reflection of many of the upper stained glass windows and chandeliers and lovely ceiling in this one. This made my day! You never know where you will find beauty. My camera was not working all that well but thankfully some of what I did got recorded. We wandered around to try to find a couple museums and when we did they were closed. Of course. The doors had chain on them and a lock like you had when you were 10 years old with your first 10-speed bike. Oh well, I have come to expect this from Puerto Rico! As we were getting into the car these gentlemen came by with their cart of who-knows-what! Probably brown hairy roots!

The day concluded with a lunch and on the way home I saw this large cow alongside the road. Cows in the road are not unusual, but this one wasn't real! That was the surprise.

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