Lazy Day in Antigua Guatemala

Trip Start Feb 01, 2012
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19
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Trip End Feb 21, 2012


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What I did
Arch of Santa Catalina
Ermita Nuestra Sra. de los Remedios
Capilla del viacrucis
IGLESIA DEL CALVARIO
BELEN ANTIGUA
IGLESIA CIA. DE JESUS
MERCADO DE ARTESANIAS EL CARMEN

Flag of Guatemala  , Sacatepéquez,
Sunday, February 19, 2012


It wasn't that I got up late because I didn't.  I even went up to the roof to see if the volcano was clear but it was quite hazy.  I couldn't decide what to do about breakfast at first so I ate some of my stash of walnuts and dates.  I did a few things on the computer before going out.  I headed out to the market by way of a street that looked as if it had more churches because I thought that there would be some action since it was Sunday.  I erred on both counts - the churches weren't busy and the market was just starting up.  I had forgotten where it was and what it was like but it was familiar soon after I got there.  I recalled going to the vast artisan market.  Less than a quarter of the shops were open and it was pretty much a repetition of what I had seen.

I did stop into the large craft shop that Clare and I bought stuff before she left and I got a few more small things.  They do add to the bulk and weight of my previous purchases though.  I hope everything will fit in my backpack and the extra bag will work as my carry-on.  At some point I was hungry and remembered eating at the restaurant behind the bookshop the last time I was in Antigua.  There was a Sunday buffet so I had a second helping - maybe I shouldn't have because it was hard to finish my fruit and yogurt after that.  It was very nice and I worked on my postcards. 

I returned to the hotel and did some photo editing when I ran into Naomi who then came and sat at my table.  She ate her roasted chicken and then got on the internet too.  It was too hard for me to see with the glare on the screen so I went upstairs to do the photo editing after Naomi left for a nap.  I am almost caught up with the blog writing, but way behind with the photo uploading.  When I finished editing yesterday's photos, I went back out to see more sights or just walk around, take photos, and enjoy Antigua.  Sunday is a very busy day here - the streets are bustling with local folks as well as tourists.  It seemed as if there were even more tourist groups going around with their guides today.

I walked to the Cathedral and past it in the direction of San Francisco.  There are a number of active churches that by now were much busier and there were also shells of church ruins.  Antigua houses are based on the courtyard style so that the street has a lot of walls, some doors and windows.  Some walls enclose grass and ruins of old buildings.  The windows are usually protected by iron grates.  I noticed today that some doors have little door openings and they also are covered with grates.  Razor wire makes a presence as well.  It seems safe here but I guess there is a reason for all these precautions

Back to the churches.  Along some walls there were little chapels with locked doors.  I wondered if they were part of a monastery that had closed.  Then I noticed that they have numbers.  Now my theory is that they are stations of the cross, but I didn't see any statues.  I don't know if they are still in use at times or permanently closed.  I vaguely remember our guide saying something about stations of the cross.

I hope I can identify these places from the maps I have.  The ruins do have their charm.

I don't think I was hungry really but I began to think about dinner and decided to go to the Peruvian restaurant that Naomi and I passed yesterday.  Oh, I realized why we had trouble finding yesterday's restaurant:  it was on 4th street not 4th avenue.  I knew where the Peruvian restaurant was but overshot the street coming back and had to backtrack.  No biggie.  I ordered a pisco sour, ceviche mixta, and papas fritas.  I should have looked more carefully at the ceviche description because the marinated raw seafood is piled on top of potatoes and has some corn kernels and rounds of corn on the cob.  The ceviche was quite nice - the french fries were pretty good and so were the potatoes but I had to leave one piece and the corn on the cob.  Too full.

Back at the hotel again, I uploaded my selection of photos from today.  I tried to call everyone (family) on Skype but no one answered.  Now I have finished my blog for today and will cut and paste previous entries not yet transferred to the blog.  I tried Serge again later with no answer and then almost immediately he called me.  We had a nice chat.  I showed him my room since I managed to get internet up here and Theo liked my headlamp flashing mode.  I use my headlamp to see the keyboard - otherwise it is a bit dark.  I showed Serge the t-shirt I bought for him at the coffee museum.  It has the chemical symbol for caffeine on it - he said he liked it.  More computer stuff and off to sleep a bit later than usual.


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