Monday, January 10, 2011


La Antigua, Guatemala is about 30 miles w. of Guatemala City.  Once you get out of the city, it is a nice drive on a nice road.  Getting out of the city (Guatemala) is not for the faint hearted, or someone who doesn't know how to drive in a 3rd world country!  Luckily, Jim is a good driver and knows his way around, so off we went to spend most of our time in the beautiful colonial city of la Antigua.  It is really a small town, and after a couple days, it is simple to navigate and figure out things.  It also has so many cool things to see, and good places to eat and shop.  One of our favorite things was just to sit in the "Parque Central" and people watch.
Connie in Parque Central

     Since we lived about 3 miles from the town we had various options of how to get in to Antigua, walk (too rough), bicycle(too dangerous), tuk-tuk(last resort), cab(we usually got home this way), or the proverbial "chicken bus" which stopped right out side out compound about every 10 min. and only cost  Q2.50...or about 30 cents. Some of us took the chicken bus alot!  

Antigua is surrounded by  beautiful volcanoes, Pacaya, Acatenango, and Agua, and Fuego , which spewed smoke daily.
When the Spanish arrived in the 1500's they built some beautiful cathedrals and convents.  Some of these are still being used, while others have been destroyed by huge earthquakes . We spent some time climbing over ruins and investigating the old convents.  many of the existing businesses are housed in old ruins of church buildings, which just adds to the charm of this city.
Thom, Jim, Denise, and Jill at ruins of Santiago

La Merced

     We shopped and bargained with the local.  If you sat in the Park for any time, you were sure to be approached by indigenous people selling all kinds of woven things, jewelery, flutes, and  Chiclets!   No, was not answer they would take, and actually it was fun to talk to the vendors.  One thing everyone wanted was a woven bracelet, made in less than 5 min. right in front of us.  You could tell them the words and the colors you wanted...Q10.  about 1.20 US.  Here's Steve's and a few shots of the kids and Denise watching the ladies work their magic.

        We went into the town everyday to use the Internet, have our laundry done, have the most wonderful cappuccinos , eat lunch, shop,  people watch, and just hang out.  Our meeting place was always the "parque', where there was music playing and families enjoying some time together just like us!

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