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Published: November 25th 2018
Wed 21-Thur 22 November - Day 26 to 27 - Quetzaltenango
At 9.00am we continued our journey towards the town of La Ermita de la Concepcion (La Conquistadora)
the oldest church in central America. This church was interesting to visit, both for the architecture and the remnant of the Spanish conquest of Guatemala. It is not as decorated, since it was not designed to teach the Mayans. In fact, it was reserved for the Spanish, who had set up a fort in Salcaja to control two important Mayan cities. The walls are very strong to prevent earthquake damage, so this church had never had to be repaired.
We arrived at Quetzaltenango at around 12MD and checked into Hotel Mondelo. It was a beautiful, spacious building full of old/antique furniture, sewing machines, typewriters, encyclopedias etc. It was really interesting to look at all the items. It also had a restaurant and bar which offered happy hour from 5-7pm. Our group certainly got involved with that.
The town is framed by a backdrop of volcanoes, including the towering Santa Maria with its active Santiaguito lava dome. The city is known for its neoclassical buildings, including La Casa de Cultura and
the Municipal Theatre. On the central Americano Park is also Cathedral del Espiritu Santo Quetzaltenango Guatemala.
Our first night’s dinner was at an Indian restaurant – for a change. Happy hour had prepared some of our funniest travel mates so much, we were in stitches with them ‘performing’. They are a great group to travel with.
The next day 3 of us were thinking of climbing Santa Marie volcano but the forecast was 60% chance of rain. Clouds would block all views of the 2 volcanos. I had a little ‘rough’ night so just as well I had decided not to do the tough trek. However, the sky was completely blue and clear!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Drat!!
Tom and most of the group decided to go to the near-by hot springs. They drove for ¾ hour, past the town of Santa Maria with the clear view of the volcanos. They stopped several times for photos of the valley scene with market gardens in the foreground as well as a photo of the volcanoes. The road was very windy, being repaired by hand. It continues to be a developing country.
got there, they had a short walk to the thermal pools. Tom said it would have been better if it was a little warmer, but all was very enjoyable sitting there chatting. The came back at about 1.00pm.
I stayed back at the hotel catching up on sleep, having a very light breakfast.
In he afternoon, Tom & I walked to the local markets as well as visiting a new, multi-story shopping mall which had all the Christmas decorations up just like we do in Australia. Its such a contrast with the local market. There was also a 15m tall Christmas tree outside the central hospital.
We also visited the very large and very Catholic cemetery where we saw a funeral being conducted. It was then back to the hotel for happy hour.
That night we went to Giuseppe’s Pizza recommended by Trip Adviser and they had top Pizza with lovely crunchy bases.
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