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Published: March 15th 2016
Volcano having an outbreak
We had a look at the sunset from a lookout just outside the town. We then noticed that a volcano outside Antigua was having a small outbreak. We thought it was interesting but didn't think more of it.
Guatemala City and Antigua
The last couple of days of this vacation I spent mainly in Antigua but I also made a visit to Guatemala City.
Guatemala City is the capital of Guatemala and is not really a safe place to visit. It is sad that it is so because Guatemala City is very beautiful and I would have liked to have stayed there for a while. I stayed in Antigua instead because Antigua is much safer and way more hospitable. When I told the owner of the guesthouse in Antigua that I intended to visit Guatemala City he gave me strict advice on how to get there and on which areas I should avoid. Apparently the city centre is OK in daytime at least but the bus station is in a rough neighbourhood and should be avoided whenever possible.
I only stayed in Guatemala City for a few hours but it was enough for me to totally fall in love with the architecture there. Particularly I liked the early 20th century buildings. But there were also a nice palace, Palacio Nacional de la Cultura, in the city centre and a couple
I fell in love with this
I only stayed in Guatemala City for a few hours but it was enough for me to totally fall in love with the architecture there.
of blocks to the south of there I walked by the Palacio de Justicia, which is built in a more modern but still a quite interesting style.
Antigua, not to be confused with the island Antigua in the Caribbean Sea, is also very interesting. Antigua is a UNESCO World Heritage Site thanks to the well preserved buildings from the time when Guatemala was a Spanish colony. In its heydays there were grand churches, convents and monasteries in Antigua. Today many of them are not grand buildings, they are grand ruins, because Antigua is prone to earthquakes. The combination of preserved colonial buildings and impressive ruins give Antigua a very interesting character. The many restaurants, hotels and cafés also make the town a nice place to hang around.
As I mentioned above I left Antigua for half a day and went to Guatemala City. When I returned in the afternoon a guy I had been talking to at the guesthouse asked me if I wanted to come with him and have a look at the sunset from a lookout just outside the town. I said "sure" and went with him. We then noticed that a
Architecture in central Antigua
I love taking photos of "tunnels" like these and try to squeeze in one every time I can
volcano outside Antigua was having a small outbreak. We thought it was interesting but didn't think more of it. In the evening he went to street vendor for food whereas I went to a restaurant. When I returned to the guesthouse the same guy approached me again and he was all excited shouting "Have you seen the volcano? Have you seen the volcano? It's having a massive outbreak". We went up on the roof (which actually was no-go area for us guests. We had to climb the façade to get there) and from there we could see the outbreak. It was incredible! Lava spewed from a fissure like water from a fountain and the entire side of the volcano was lit up by the glow from the lava flow. The outbreak was on a side of the volcano which was slightly turned away from us so we didn't get the perfect view of it from where we were standing. But it was so big that it give us quite a show even from our point of view and at our distance, 15 kilometres away. This really was something which I will take with me for a long time and something
Flag of Guatemala
Flag of Guatemala
which would be worth to put in my memoirs if I ever decide to write them.
After Antigua I left Guatemala and went home. However, this is not the last blog entry from Guatemala. I have three more coming up, each one dedicated to a specific theme. Hope you follow the blog and read them too.
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