Guatemala part II - Antigua and Guatemala City


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Published: March 15th 2016
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Volcano having an outbreakVolcano having an outbreakVolcano 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 thisI fell in love with thisI 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 AntiguaArchitecture in central AntiguaArchitecture 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 GuatemalaFlag of GuatemalaFlag 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.


Additional photos below
Photos: 25, Displayed: 24


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Central GuatemalaCentral Guatemala
Central Guatemala

Central Antigua lit up at night
Central AntiguaCentral Antigua
Central Antigua

Antigua is a UNESCO World Heritage Site thanks to the well preserved buildings from the time when Guatemala was a Spanish colony.
Ruin in AntiguaRuin in Antigua
Ruin in Antigua

In its heydays there were grand churches, convents and monasteries in Antigua.
Ruin in AntiguaRuin in Antigua
Ruin in Antigua

Today many of them are not grand buildings, they are grand ruins, because Antigua is prone to earthquakes
Ruin in AntiguaRuin in Antigua
Ruin in Antigua

Church ruin not open to the public
Ruin in AntiguaRuin in Antigua
Ruin in Antigua

A temple ruin
Ruin in AntiguaRuin in Antigua
Ruin in Antigua

Many of the ruins are impressive
Guatemala CityGuatemala City
Guatemala City

Particularly I liked the early 20th century buildings
Guatemala CityGuatemala City
Guatemala City

Nice architecture
Guatemala CityGuatemala City
Guatemala City

Nice looking building
Guatemala CityGuatemala City
Guatemala City

Santa Iglesia Catedral Metropolitana in Guatemala City
Romulus and RemusRomulus and Remus
Romulus and Remus

The statue of Romulus and Remus is the symbol of City of Rome. Why they have put up a copy of it in Guatemala City is beyond my comprehension
Palacio de JusticiaPalacio de Justicia
Palacio de Justicia

The Palacio de Justicia is built in a modern but still a quite interesting style.
Volcano having a massive outbreakVolcano having a massive outbreak
Volcano having a massive outbreak

"Have you seen the volcano? Have you seen the volcano? It's having a massive outbreak"
The volcano gave us an amazing showThe volcano gave us an amazing show
The volcano gave us an amazing show

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 gave us quite a show even from our point of view and at our distance, 15 kilometers away.
Guatemala City International AirportGuatemala City International Airport
Guatemala City International Airport

At half past seven in the evening the airport in Guatemala City was completely deserted. Not a single store or restaurant was open
Funny photo for you who made it to the endFunny photo for you who made it to the end
Funny photo for you who made it to the end

We try to find something special to add in the end as a gift to those of you who actually made all the way there before you gave up. Half the cat is on the sofa and half is dropping on the way towards the floor. She was actually sleeping like that and wasn't bothered at all by the strange position


15th March 2016
Ruin in Antigua

I love them anyway ;o)
15th March 2016
Guatemala City

Agree. Love it!!
15th March 2016
Funny photo for you who made it to the end

Love it LOL
15th March 2016
Funny photo for you who made it to the end

You made it to the end :-)
Well done, you made it to the end. It seems like you found that photo worth the effort. Thanks for the comments /Ake
16th March 2016
Flag of Guatemala

Guatemala
We've enjoyed following and are eager for the next 3 blogs. Glad you had such a mice trip.
16th March 2016
Flag of Guatemala

Good to hear
Good to hear and thanks for the kind words. /Ake
16th March 2016
Architecture in central Antigua

Tunnels and Collonnades
Gotta agree this one is a beauty!
16th March 2016
Volcano having an outbreak

Luck of the draw
Fantastic. How lucky were you to be there to see it!!!
16th March 2016
Volcano having an outbreak

It was magic
I have waited more than 30 years to get a chance to see an erupting volcano. It was worth the wait. I hope I don't have to wait another 30 years before I get to see it again. /Ake
17th March 2016
Architecture in central Antigua

One of your famous, trademark 'tunnels'
Love this look down the columns--clearly you were there in a fabulous off-season when this wasn't crammed with tourists. Love your photos of the beautiful ruins, and impressed that you spent a day in Guatemala City. I was in Antigua for six weeks and never did that--I'd heard it was ugly, but your photos show some stunning architecture. I'll follow your lead and maybe stay a couple of days there. Thrilled that you got to see the volcano erupt, and good for you for climbing up to the forbidden terrace to see it. Proper adventurer!
17th March 2016
Architecture in central Antigua

Adventurer - "old but not obsolete"
In the latest Terminator movie Arnold plays an aging Terminator and one of the commets he uses when he can't perform the way he used to is "Old, but not obsolete". I guess that applies for me too. I used to be a bit of an adventurer but nowadays the most wild thing I do is to climb up a roof of a hostel. Thanks for the nice comment. /Ake
17th March 2016

Jealous!
We stayed in Antigua for a month a few years ago and spent many hours on our rooftop terrace watching poofs come from the top of the volcano. It had a major eruption not long after we left and we felt so disappointed that we had missed it. Glad you had the opportunity and glad you shared it with us.
23rd March 2016

I want to go back to Antigua
I really enjoyed Antigua. I hope to go back there some time in the future. Perhaps not for an entire month but I could certanly stay there for a week or ten days and have a great time. Ake

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