Ok, new lesson learned on Brian and Marisha´s travel adventures. Do not try and fit 3 weeks travel into 2. The 1 week in Mexico did not count for us due the sedintary nature of it all. Vacation yes, travel, no. So, to us, this is the usual trip. Planned the exact way we usually do - in 3 weeks (with 2 to work with). We are so tired and have been on the move non-stop. Guatemala is not a stress free place to travel. It can be a very dangerous place and it is hard when you only speak 3 months worth of self-tought Spanish. Still though, to our own props...doing quite well. The good thing is, we covered all the hard places first... leaving the last part of the trip to all the cleaner, relaxier, and beautifulier parts of Guatemala. Nothing like diving into the trenches (El Salvador) to really make you appreciate the quality spots. The past few days we have really been able to unwind and enjoy this trip so much more. Being in High alert takes a toll... has also been a little sick since last week.
Antigua is a breath taking (Guatemala standards) city just far enough away from Guatemala City to make you feel you are in a completely different country. Kind of like Council Bluffs, IA and Omaha. Or Wiggle town and Plattaburgh. Or Aurora and Denver....you get the picture except add some guns and chickens and stuff.
Antigua is a colonial city they have fought to keep as prestine to its original state as possible while at the same time adding McDonalds, Subway and as much western influence as possible. You walk past original buildings, hundreds of years old. Some with local artisans selling everything from hand made wraught iron, textiles and pottery to ones that surprise you as soon as you enter through the gate. Hip bars, resturaunts and boutique stores. Massive elaborate courtyards filled with flowers and gardens are the biggest treat.
We have settled right into Antigua. Learingng the layout of the city in hours. The food here is amazing and the prices a little higher, but a welcome change to previous cities.