January 24, 2013
I have acquired a “bug” that is keeping me running (unfortunately not on the beach kind of running!) … there are a multitude of instances that come to mind where, at the time, I thought, “Is this going to be a problem?” Hmm…. I guess I should have been a little more careful! No more limonade for me… Not so much fun. Scott visited the local pharmacy for me this morning for some pills that should help. I hope that our ride to Antigua is uneventful!!! (afternote – yes – I made it! Thank you little pills).
As we flew along the main highway, we came around a corner to this “parade” for one of the Guatemalan’s festivals. They were marching in one lane, with a police escort in front. Now we know why everyone is dressed up today! Keep in mind, this road is essentially the freeway of Guatemala….
After several wrong turns, one resulting in the very nice road suddenly turning to a dirt path, and another requiring us to ask a local for directions…. we made it to Antigua! It is charming! The people are very friendly – we stopped two times to get our bearings, and each time a different person approached us, asking if we needed help. Antigua, Guatemala
Part of the charm of Antigua is the narrow cobblestone streets and colonial architecture. Streetside, entire blocks appear to be just a plain wall with nondescript gates and barred windows, but inside are beautiful shops and courtyards.
This hotel is only 4 years old, but is constructed to appear hundreds of years old. It is so beautiful!
Antigua was originally the capital city of Guatemala, but after several devastating earthquakes, it was moved to Guatemala City. Most of the ruins were left as they were after the earthquakes that destroyed them.
We spent the morning wandering around the Parque Central – a beautiful area in the center of town. We sat for awhile on a bench and listened to a man playing music…
Shoe shine boys kept asking to clean my shoes and Mayan women would approach us to sell their jewelry and weavings. We decided to walk through the Cathedral and ruins….built in 1538, it was destroyed in 1668 by an earthquake. Another cathedral was built next to it, and it was destroyed in 1773 – and then another was built next to it. Surreal….
No modern signage in Antigua….
Poor Scott succumbed to the travel bug…. the rest of his afternoon is spent in our room. I ventured out on my own and had a great time exploring the little shops behind the walls!
January 26, 2013
Got up this morning to a beautiful clear sky and view of the Agua Volcano from the rooftop terrace of the hotel.
- boys selling flutes in Antigua
- We took a break in a restaurant to have a soda. Our table was next to a window, convenient for the locals to stop and show us what they had to sell. These little girls were very persistent in trying to get Scott to buy their merchandise. He gave them each a few quetzals (money in Guatemala) because they were so cute. The one on the right spoke the most English – she kept telling Scott he was cheap because he wouldn’t buy anything.
Antigua gets my vote for one of the most romantic cities we have been in!
January 27, 2013
Sunday morning – we watched Pastor Ed from the Packinghouse in Redlands, CA, preach live via webcam. We were able to watch the entire service, including worship!
We took another walk around town… Sunday is a BUSY day here – so many tourists come from Guatemala City (an hour away).
We sat in the square and watched the people – very rich and very poor – all enjoying their day.
We took a carriage ride through the area of town we had not explored yet. Our young drivers did not speak much English, but tried to explain points of interest to us.
We went to Calvary Chapel of Antigua for their evening service at 5 tonight. This is a small church, though attendance was high due to two work groups from the US in town. A good service done in English and Spanish.
Tomorrow we are on the road to more adventures!