I'm beginning to love Antigua. There are unattractive parts about it...the weird expat population who sticks to themselves, has lots of money, and doesn't necessarily speak Spanish. And the overwhelming number of tourists walking the downtown streets...but with a little searching, I came to realize that Antigua has the best of both worlds: Clean, beautiful architecture and gorgeous cafes mixed with simple street food and local comedors (eateries where it is uncommon to see tourists). Modern art galleries next to artisan shops next to a tamale street card. I just had to start walking and keep my eyes open. Here are a mix of images of why I dig Antigua, Guatemala:
The ancient walls around one of the various Catholic churches that are still in use, but also have a museum and ruins on site.
Bright walls around the colonial town.
"Modern" art in a cafe in the Spanish School district. Loved the cafe, but don't dig the area...a little too pretentious for me.
My restaurant...a local comedor in the market! We only saw one other foreign couple in the local market.
A wealthy, local Guatemalan tried to get me to buy a piece by this artist...only $400. It seems that everyone thinks people that travel have an endless supply of money. He told me that since I had money to travel, I had the money to buy a piece of art like this. I explained to him that I was able to travel because I did NOT spend my money on $400 pieces of art. He didn't quite get it.
An indigenous girl checking out her loot for the day with a friend on a church fountain.
I don't know the name of this church. It wasn't on the map...there were two churches on one corner. The old, large dilapidated one was on the map, but this slightly smaller, ornate one wasn't. Maybe the "HIStory" of it was less significant.
Sarah and I were going stir crazy, so we bought some nail polish in the market and had a pedicure session.
Some old church ruins right outside of our hostel. It costs $5 to get in, so I've just appreciated it from afar. There are a number of ruins like this throughout the city.
Blogging at a little cafe attached to a spa/salon that specialized in men's services (local, wealthy men that is). There was a candle lit, incense going, and chill music playing. A perfect place to send my peeps little Internet notes!