Antigua, Guatemala

We set out on our first road trip today and the destination was Antigua. We left the City a little after 10:00am with the plan to make the 45 minute drive to Antigua, park the car and spend the day walking the cobblestone streets, browsing the many shops and have lunch. That’s exactly what we did and we had a beautiful day.

Antigua is arguably the most well preserved colonial city in Spanish America. The natural beauty of the area is breath taking. A quick search on the web offered this:

“Antigua, sited in the Panchoy Valley, was designated ‘La Muy Noble y Muy Leal Ciudad de Santiago de los Caballeros de Guatemala’ by the conquistadors in 1543 and has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The festival of the town’s saint (Santiago or St James: Patron saint of the conquistadors) is celebrated July 25 th. After the conquest of the Maya by the Spanish, the races intermingled and their customs and traditions gave rise to a singular form of life, art and culture that is today reflected in every aspect of Antigua.

Antigua, the capital of the Captaincy-General of Guatemala, was founded in the early 16th century. Built 1,500 m above sea-level, in an earthquake-prone region, it was largely destroyed by an earthquake in 1773 but its principal monuments are still preserved as ruins. In the space of under three centuries the city, which was built on a grid pattern inspired by the Italian Renaissance, acquired a number of superb monuments.

Antigua is an incredible place, rich in history, culture, ancient arts including weaving, the technique of which, has been passed on from generation to generation. It is also well known for it’s many Spanish schools. It is a place that offers affordable classes and there are many programs. Some include housing and tours. For information about all things Antigua, just google it.

While the trip to Antigua was beautiful, it was uneventful…meaning we did not get lost. I cannot, however, say the same about the return trip! As we entered the City, we took a wrong turn and, sparing you the gory details, let me just say it took several hours to get home. Once off track in a city of several million people on a Saturday, it is not an easy thing to find one’s way. And you may be thinking, why didn’t they use a map? We have yet to find a city  map of Guatemala City and surrounding areas. Our little detour took us into some zones that are not safe and this made me a nervous wreck. I seriously started to panic more than once. I kept hearing Maria’s voice telling me to never go into zone 11 because people go in and don’t come out, like the roach motel…drug heaven I think.

Thank goodness Jerry kept his cool and got us home safe and sound. Jerry didn’t even ask if I wanted a glass of wine when we got home…I heard the cork pop and he brought me a glass. I took a warm bath by candle light and sipped my wine. It was certainly good to be back home.

Here are some of the pictures we took:

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