Antigua is Spanish word for antique, old, vintage. Antigua Guatemala is former Guatemalan colonial capital. As a city with rich architectural and cultural heritage represents one of the symbols of the country.
We spent whole month in Antigua. We found a hostel that offered us free accommodation in exchange of help at the reception. The work was nothing special, so I won't spend many words about it. I rather use them to present the town.
Antigua and Guatemala in general has many landmarks. First are volanoes. Antigua is surrounded by four. Two of them are still active! Photo below left shows the closest one - Volcán de Agua (spa. Volcano of Water.) It carries it's name by the earthquake, which caused a landslide of water and rocks from the volcano slopes. Landslide devastated a town nearby. The second is Volcán de Fuego (spa. Volcano of Fire.) It's erruptions are an amazing view from Antigua on a clear day. One of such on the photo below right.
Of course you can't be a smartass about volcanoes until you climb one. We choose Pacaya Volcano. It's active, that's why we weren't allowed to climb higher than 200 meters under the top.
Feelings are unusual. You stand on a volcano, but it seems you're on the Moon. Here and there you can find a hole with hot air exhaust. Tour guide gave us marshmallows. But we came prepared with real stuff :)
Second landmark is cocoa. Some already know it came to Europe from America. It was a drink of Mayan rulers. On contrary with today's version, they enriched it with chili instead of sugar. Ziva liked spicy cocoa more than I.
Third is coffee. Someone might be interested how does flowering coffee tree looks like :)
Fourth is religiousness. Big majority of population are Christians. We were in town right before Easter. There was a pilgrimage from church to church, from morning till evening, every Friday and Sunday.
People spend whole days preparing coloured patterns on the streets where pilgrimage will take place. The holiday means a lot to them. A bit less excited are the drivers.
And if you wonder what happens with the art when a procession trample it down...
In Mexivo I thought I've seen the worst thing that can be driven on the road. I was wrong.
The washing machines are also not obvious here.
Because this is going to be the only article about Guatemala, I owe to show how flows the life in the surrounding mountains.
You start to think the time stopped there.
For the end we save the best. Do you want to know what is the most beautiful toilet in Guatemala? Or what Guatemalans think about new American president? Hint: "pendejo" means asshole, the rest you can figure out yourself :)