Down cobblestone streets full of color and noise. The temperature is in the high 70’s and the air is clean. The streets are full of people, I’m sad to see so many children working on the street selling things. My Pollyanna persona hopes that they go to school later or earlier in the day. Many women still wear traditional dress, and the color combination is astounding. I learn so much about color from just observing. There is often music in the air and the smell of coffee emanating from the little boutique shops is tantalizing. That said I’m not diminishing the fact that the wages are very low here and for many people life is hard. I hope you don’t mind my perspective of what I see. Just walking, fountains and feathers. The beautiful Chicken buses. The local market. Huipils. A huge warehouse full of surprises. I visit it every day to see what new goodies have arrived from the countryside. And then there are the churches.
We don’t stay in Guatemala City, but venture out to the city of Antigua, an hour and a half away from the main city. Antigua is a small city surrounded by volcanoes in southern Guatemala. It’s renowned for its Spanish colonial buildings, many of them restored following a 1773 earthquake that ended Antigua’s 200-year reign as Guatemala’s colonial capital. Notable architectural examples include baroque La Merced, a squat, yellow-and-white church. It’s an integral part of the city’s famous Semana Santa, a holy week with parades and rituals.
The second part of the trip will be to stay at Lake Atitlan at a hotel nestled on the lake. The beauty will take your breath away.
Extra seats are added, racks on the roof to carry produce and I saw a goat and trussed sheep up there on one occasion. They whizz around those high mountain roads at break neck speeds. I would love a ride on one but I had a vision of the headlines. “Aussie grandmother meets her demise on a Chicken Bus”
The decorations are very interesting, and they just sparkle, not an ounce of dust on the shiny sides.