Colonial Antigua

Antigua Travel Blog

 › entry 9 of 20 › view all entries
Catedral de San Jose

After a rather interesting night, where we found a scorpian in our bag lockers....we turned up the next morning as promised at 8am, and luckily they had managed to find two more spaces on the bus for us, but in true Central American style this caused great confusion to the driver and it took us until 8.30am to leave the hostel! We stopped pretty soon after setting off in Coban again, apparantly to change some people over into the other bus that was also going to Antigua. Yet again, what seemed to be a perfectly neeless kerfuffle!

However, after a while we got on our way. The minibus was the same as the last, and just as uncomfortable, but we stopped more and the journey seemed (slightly) more bearable.

 We drove through Guatemala City on the way, and realised why we had chosen not to stay there. Dirty, noisy and full of people, the two cities are worlds apart, although only half an hour from each other. We had been told by other people that Antigua was nothing like the rest of Guatemala and they were right. As we drove into the city, it looked almost like we were in Spain or Italy with cobbled streets and wrought iron window bars and the colonial influence is very obvious.

We had decided to stay in the Internacional Mochilero Guesthouse. A slightly quieter option than the Lonely Planet or Rough Guides suggested hostels, and much more like a budget hotel than a hostel. It's perfect for us, and actually works out cheaper than the other options.

In the Parque Central

We wandered around town last night and went out for a rather unintentionally expensive dinner but we couldn't really see that much of the city as it was dark, and we were so tired after our journey that we headed back at about 9.30pm. This morning we had a well deserved and much appreciated lie-in - the first time that we haven't had to set an alarm since our first day in Central America!! We got up and wandered into town, after dropping off a huge bag of our washing opposite the hostel (5kg washed and dried and folded up for us by the afternoon for 39Q - just over 3 pounds!). After sitting down in the lovely 'Parque Central' we went to have a look at the ruins of the old cathedral which has been destroyed by 15 earthquakes over the years (knowledge from the american tour guide we listened in on) and enjoyed the sunlight of the day. We went to have a look at the market, which was huge and we bought a few things there. It's so hard to just look though, as the moment you show any interest (or even walk past to be honest), the market sellers are out asking what you're looking for and how much you want to pay. It got quite annoying, as you felt so bad when they took ages to show you their wares, if you didn't end up buying anything.

It'll be another early night as the alarm will be set once again for our 6am start to climb the (active!) Volcan Pacaya!

 

Join TravBuddy to leave comments, meet new friends and share travel tips!
Catedral de San Jose
Catedral de San Jose
In the Parque Central
In the Parque Central
The ruins of San Jose Catedral
The ruins of San Jose Catedral
Antigua
photo by: monky