Building in Guatemala: Day 8
Hello to another beautiful, sunny day in the central highlands of Guatemala! We have had a wonderful week of highs (building a physical and metaphorical foundation for Leslie and her family) and lows (stomach bugs), but now we say goodbye to Xela and head east to Antigua.
Present day Antigua was founded in 1543 by Spanish conquistadors and ultimately became the third capital of Guatemala. Tourism and language institutes are the primary industries in this historic area. Three volcanoes dominate the view around the city. To the south is Volcan de Agua (Volcano of Water). To the west are a pair peaks, Acatenango which last erupted in 1972 and Volcan de Fuego (Volcano of Fire) which issues smoke and gas almost daily. The seismic activity of these volcanos has produced devastating earthquakes over the centuries and are the reason the capital was moved to Guatemala City in 1776.
The worst part of arriving in Antigua was saying goodbye to our dear friend Carlos. He had to head back to Guatemala City to pick up another group and take them to Xela. More than a few tears were shed upon his departure. Even though I feel like he is cheating on us, I will miss him and look forward to seeing him again soon, hopefully, in the United States for a visit.
In the wake of Carlos leaving we were excited to welcome Katia to our group as our guide for the day. She joined us for lunch and then showed us around the city. One of our first stops was the marketplace.
If you want to know what birdseed feels like in a flock of pigeons, then head to a Central American market. I know better than to make eye contact but slipped and now I have a scarf. The women’s handiwork is amazing. Seriously, how many scarves do I need? The adorable little girls are the worst. I hope everyone I know in the United States likes scarves.
Choco Museo was another stop for the day. Who, besides Tony, doesn’t like chocolate? We sampled dark chocolate, milk chocolate, chocolate tea, and chocolate rum. I didn’t know I needed chocolate tea and chocolate rum, but I do and lots of it. Thanks to Sami and Taylor for carrying my excessive purchases.
After lots more sightseeing we checked into our rooms, dropped off our acquisitions, and headed to the Antigua Brewing Company. Yes, the craft brewing craze has even hit here. We then gathered for one final meal together. The camaraderie of shared meals has been one of my favorite parts of this trip. Some of the more adventurous continued on to enjoy the nightlife wrapping up a fantastic day.