The colourful town of Antigua

Not the former British colony of Antigua and Barbuda but Antigua, Guatemala (pronounced Anteegwa). After a very uneventful over night bus from Flores I arrived at my hostel just before 0700, I eventually managed to wake up the proprietor who allowed me to drop my bag even though check in wasn’t until 1400. Wandering the streets of Antigua I stumbled upon an Easter parade, there were hundreds of men in purple robes, carrying staffs with crosses on top, then a huge float came past, carried by 80 men, of Jesus carrying his cross behind who there was a float of Mary, carried by 80 women in black veils, finally there was a huge band and hundreds more veiled women. An interesting start to the day before either food or coffee.

Breakfast was some sort of baked goods off a street seller but I we t upmarket for a coffee and enjoyed it in an outside courtyard.  Most the remainder of the day I spent exploring the cobbled streets which are just a burst of colour, both thew buildings themselves and the occupants.  Around the few open ‘parks’ and in many of the streets there are vendors everywhere and the cacophony of sounds is unimaginable; from the icecream vendor ringing his bell to the ballon boy selling his wares to the fruit seller heckling anyone she pleases (a whole mango, freshly cut, was only 5 quetzals {less than 50p} so it was rude not to).  Another addition to the colour, but just as a one off, was virtually in every street there was a sand mosaic/design with various colours laid on top making very impressive pieces of street art.

Antigua has suffered from a number of earthquakes over the years and some of the architecture has suffered too, with a number of colonial buildings in ruins, those that remain are colourful and impressive to see and had there not been such a volume of people they would’ve made perfect postcard pictures.  Overall a very picturesque town which could easily be transported to anywhere on the Mediterranean and not look out of place, I can see why of is popular with tourists and Guatemalans alike.

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