Saturday, February 20, 2010

Guest Post from Anna in Antigua

So here we are in Antigua Guatemala....our first step into Central America.
Thursday we arrived at Guatemala City Airport pleasantly surprised. The airport, barely one year old,was very efficient and organized.It was good to have Carlos, our driver, waiting for us so that we did not have to navigate the sea of taxi drivers and then explain that we were going to la casa de Gregorio in Jardaines des Antigua. Our driver knew where to take us.
As we drove through Guatemala City to get to Antigua, it became clear why Debbie and Rob stay out of the big cities..traffic was horrible (it was rush hour), smoggy and not very pretty or interesting.
Once we hit the road outside the city, as the road moved into the countryside on decent divided road towards Antigua, the air cleared up and we were surrounded by lush green mountains,and views of volcanos and locals on scooters, bikes,and on foot along the side of the road. Lots of winding roads with s shaped curves.
Arriving at the house was great. Debbie and Rob greeted us at the gates of our home for the week .....homey, warm, comfortable with all the amenities .....Debbie and Rob look great,suntanned and happy.
Once we got settled, the four of us headed to town for true Guatemala dinner...what a taste treat.  Sorry no camera.... so no photos of that meal.
Today (Friday) we explored the center of Antigua, visited the mercado and put the area under our feet.

Impressions....this is Sante Fe, New Mexico "only realler". Has the Spanish Colonial architecture and colors but also alot of ruins from the earthquakes.  Antigua has not been recreated (yet) so one it does not feel as touristy...yet.Locals may disagree. The place is filled with restaurants, shops, boutiques,local street vendors and of course the huge market.
You can find everything want in the market....trinkets.souveniers, pirated CDs and DVDs,fresh produce,meat and on and on....a total maze of sights, sounds and smells.

People......all walks of life.....tourists (like Irwin and I), travellers and backpackers(like Debbie and Rob), expats  (from all over America, Europe) and locals that are those of Spanish descent and Mayans.