Thursday, 24 January 2013

Soaking up the atmosphere in Antigua

I decided to take a few days to relax in Antigua. To ensure I made the most of this downtime, I checked in to a hotel with a pool for a few days. Well it isn't really relaxing if you don't have a pool now is it??

This place also had amazing bed linen ... well it was probably just basic 'nice' linen but I've been sleeping in such dodgy places for so long I'd forgotten what nice linen felt like. Oh, and the bed was so very comfy and so were the pillows. A few nights without lumpy rock hard pillows ..... paradise.

Antigua was founded in the mid 1500's and was the capital of Guatemala until it was devastated by the 1773 earthquake. The town was slowly rebuilt with much of it's original character retained. The town has been declared a national monument and is also a UNESCO world heritage site.

I spent my mornings by the pool or in the pool as it was bloody hot, and wandered in to town in the afternoon when the weather started to cool.

There are many Spanish language schools in the area so there is a constant stream of travelers hanging out. I probably should have checked into language school as my Spanish is really non-existent but decided my miming skills had done ok up until now so why spoil a good thing.

The influx of travelers in Antigua has led to a load of westernized restaurants and cafes opening. Now I'm all for eating the local fare but it was great to have a change from rice and beans.

I did indulge just a little in the great coffee and may have tasted key lime pie and chocolate cheesecake with my friend Senait. Well we needed to eat something while using the free wifi.

Wandering the streets there are some beautiful buildings and some crumbling ruins.

The streets in the centre of town are cobble stones .... large and very uneven cobble stones. I stumbled along not looking where I'm going, admiring the locals in traditional dress. Some of these people are dressed for the tourists and try and sell all kinds of tat, others are living the traditional life and love to have a chat with an English speaking crazy person (aka me).

These dudes aren't in traditional dress, they are just random street performers who really weren't at all entertaining.

The town sits at the base of three volcanoes, Acatenango, Fuego and Agua. I didn't climb any of them ... I preferred to admire the view from my poolside sun lounge. Well with views like this, who could blame me?

More photos
Guatemala - Antigua

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