In the morning we went to the Museo de Leyendas y Tradiciones, which was meant to be an interesting museum detailing hard-core torture methods the National Guard used in the cells. The guide tried his best, but we'll never get that hour of our lives back again. I honestly wouldn't bother going in. The figures and murals looked liked they'd been made and drawn by children. After another mooch around Leon, we left for Masaya.
We booked onto the night volcano tour at the Masaya volcano entrance, but as it's the holiday season, they only have a tour in 3 days. At least we're on it though :-). We then went to Coyotepe fortress just outside Masaya town. It provided views of the town and a guided 20 minute tour of the subterranean cells was included in the admission. It was actually really interesting, and it's definitely worth the visit (especially if you get the guide we had, who was called Renny).
After, we walked around Masaya town, including seeing the usual Cathedral and churches. There's the famous Nicaraguan Mercado de Artisanias (handicrafts market), which had a massive collection of souvenirs and some beautiful wooden pieces. We also walked along the malecon, which provided views of the Laguna de Masaya. As we are coming back to Masaya in a few days, we made our way to Granada (just 16km away) for sunset.
Our initial opinion of the town is that Granada is definitely Nicaragua's city jewel. The architecture is stunning. We had a few drinks in a Parque Central cafe, watching the weird and wonderful action going on in the square, including a Christmas parade, with people dressed as nativity characters, and a man who set off rocket fireworks just by letting them go from his hand. Health and safety went out the window since Mexico, so it's becoming common to see these things now.
Gwyn wanted to service Dougal, so we went to to the malecon near the lake. After a few hours, the police came over to tell us to move on as it was a notorious dangerous area. They escorted us to a safer patch just 200 metres up the road. We were parked close to a night market and thinking they would have food, headed over. Unfortunately, it was just stalls of fireworks, so we left after a minute. As we were walking back to the van (just 20 metres from the market gate entrance), when 3 youths jumped out on us with 6 inch knives. All 3 initially targeted Gwyn, then I started pulling on their clothes and screaming. They tried to hit Gwyn, but kept missing. The whole ordeal went on for a minute, but it felt A LOT longer, resulting in Gwyn getting a beating and cuts on his back and me having a knife to my throat. By that point other people had noticed and were screaming at them, so scum bags escaped under a fence, and in a daze, we ran to the van, locked ourselves in and drove back to the city centre. We were shaking so much, I don't know we managed to drive!
The police came over to us and took us to the station. We gave statements and I identified the thugs. I didn't have a mark on me, but Gwyn had 13 marks (most are more than 4 inches in length) on his back. He looked like he had been whipped and was bleeding from his wounds. I patched him up and we calmed down. Gwyn's t-shirt has several rips and holes in it, so that's completely ruined.
Luckily, the marks Gwyn has don't seem deep enough to cause any scarring. They also never took anything from us as I had just a bit of money tucked in the bra that they never checked. We can't believe what has happened and we are thankful that the police and the locals were really helpful. We are just going to try and forget it, and enjoy the town and Christmas period.