Time Flies By
Trip Start May 01, 2006
25Trip End Ongoing
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"An honest, authentic blend of ancient colonial architecture commingled with colorful buildings of alternating ochre, rust and white... handfuls of ruined churches, presidios and monasteries dot cobblestone rows of cafes, coffee shops and courtyards... gentle rain clouds build to the north, scenic volcanoes tower to the south..."
If so, your description would sound suspiciously like Antigua, Guatemala.
Antigua is undeniably Guatemala's biggest draw - it's easy to see why. The description above, idealistic though it may be, is not too far from encapsulating what draws droves of visitors year round
Myself included. Having kept a near-frantic pace since my May 1st departure, Antigua afforded the opportunity to slow down and take a breather (which I've done to the Nth degree). The town's diversions are many and make time fly - days can become weeks, weeks can become months... for some, the months become a lifetime.
And why not? Antigua is comfortable and like all of Guatemala the very embodiment of economical... a European-style enclave that's inspired the arts including painting (the hotels are filled with originals), dance (salsa schools abound) and music (caught a live show by original members of The Buena Vista Social Club).
Sure, Antigua is Central America's not-so-well-kept secret, but the town as a whole is truly greater than the sum of its parts. It takes a little time to uncover the intricacies, find the details, but a little time here goes a long way.
My time certainly has. And perhaps best of all, Antigua was shared with some truly great people... thanks to each of you, especially my Moms, Cynthia, who came down and chilled for a week, reminding me how great family can be.