Friday, July 12, 2013


I haven't been at all disappointed by how photogenic Antigua has been. When I passed through briefly last week, I forced myself to just walk around, get my bearings, and enjoy it even though my very first instinct was to grab for the camera. Now that I'm here again for the second time, the camera hasn't really left my hand. :-)
I spent about 10 hours walking around the city, seeing what I could see. My first stop was Cerro de la Cruz, above. It involved a walk up a hill and a short hike up some stairs, but the reward was this view. I was a little sad that clouds covered the top of the volcano, but I quite liked how this photo turned out anyway.

From there I popped into a paneria (for an assortment of breads) and a cafe for a latte to go, and I walked over to Parque Central to enjoy a cool morning breakfast. Although it's July in Central America, Antigua is at an altitude of about 1500m and the daily high temp is only in the mid-60s. There's no humidity, either, so it's kind of like being back in San Diego.
After breakfast, I began my wanderings. The downtown area of Antigua is pretty small, only about 10x10 blocks, and the streets are set up in a way that makes sense at the same time that it's kind of confusing. The calles (streets) are numbered 1-10 and run east/west. The avenidas (avenues) are numbered 1-7 and run north/south. So Central Park is located between Calles 4 and 5 and Avenidas 4 and 5. I was never lost in quite the way I have been in the past, but I did have to consult a map a time or two to make sure I was heading the direction I thought I was. The only thing I knew for sure was that Volcan Agua, the nearest volcano to Antigua, was in the south and knowing that actually helped quite a lot!

The cobblestone streets and the Spanish colonial style buildings give everything a very romantic kind of feeling - especially when you add in the abundant aromas of bread and coffee that are everywhere! A number of buildings date back to the mid-1600's, but there were also a couple of devastating earthquakes in the 1700's that destroyed a lot of the town. As you walk around, you see both restored buildings and ruins.

Aside from playing tourist and amateur photographer, I didn't do much else with my day. I found free wifi at a coffee shop to practice Spanish with this app that some other travelers had told me about (Duolingo, if you're interested; it's pretty cool). I bought, filled out, and sent off some postcards (including a funny exchange in Spanish at the post office). I bought my bus ticket to Guatemala City for later today and picked up the laundry I'd dropped off the day before.
When I finally arrived back at my host's house, I was completely exhausted and not just from all the walking. YOU try spending a whole day using the limited amount of Spanish that you know to make yourself understood and see how tired YOUR brain is at the end of the day!


  1. I could not, for the life of me figure out what you were doing in Antigua when I googled it ( or, how you even got there.
    Turns out that's not where you are after all...


    1. Ha! Dad, you're not the only one who had the same thought, so don't feel bad. I thought Guatemala's Antigua was more well known, but I guess I was wrong.

  2. That's my kind of place. Cool temps, colorful old buildings, mountains, cool temps... :-)

    I'll peruse your Flick pics later. Love ya!

    1. Kathy, you would dig it SO much.The Antigua pics aren't awesome (some are just way too dark), but I hope you enjoy them.