Sunday, May 27, 2012

San Salvador Volcano – An easy city escape to cool air, flowers, trees, and views!

  The San Salvador Volcano dominates the western side of the city.  We happen to have a striking view of it from our apartment that we are greeted with every morning.  In 1917, this volcano erupted and caused earthquakes, ruining parts of the city.  It is dormant now, though experts, and our neighbors, warn that if there were to be even a slight eruption it could be tragic for the city, and most especially, for the homes and communities located around its base.

That's smoke rising up from the fires in March.

A few days ago - so green!

  Since our arrival in January, we’ve watched the volcano go from brown to green.  We’ve seen raging fires, fireworks, and (just last night!) amazing lightning.  Recently, I managed to head up to the volcano’s park and restaurants nearby, an easy drive from Santa Tecla.  “El Boquerón” is a special park filled with flowers and birds.  I saw hummingbirds, orquids, poinsettias, hibiscus and ferns.  There’s a small interactive museum, and gentle trails to several look out points, where you can see the “big mouth” crater. 

  At the bottom of the crater messages and words are written with white stones by those who planned their day well and managed to arrange a guided hike to the bottom.  On my first visit it said “Te amo Maria” and on the second “Dorado Dragón” (Golden Dragon).  I couldn’t actually read “Golden Dragon” but was informed by a boy who claimed to have “ojos como águila” (eyes like an eagle). 

  Just outside the entrance are vendors selling fresh berries, vegetables, and plants.  Homemade quesadillas and empanadas may also be found. 

  On my first visit I had lunch at Café del Volcán, a restaurant down the road from El Boqueron.  The best part was sitting high up, surrounded by all kinds of trees, birds, and flowers.

  On my second visit I had lunch at Las Brumas, which is further down the hill (good to stop here if you’re hungry on the drive up to the park).

  A great city escape when you need some fresh mountain air, and flowers and trees to inspire.  On both of my visits, I left feeling refreshed and revived.

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