Suitcase and World: April 2010

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Antigua. Spanish charm and Mayan color.

Of all the postings in this travelogue, this one was the hardest one to put together. I started with my usual style of describing my day was like and then using photos to help the story along. About two paragraphs into writing the posting, I trashed the draft because it wouldn't have conveyed what I wanted to say about Antigua.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Birthday Boy!!

Everyone was in on the plan except the Birthday Boy, of course. We would go to a deli to pick up food for lunch and then head over to Posada Los Bucaros to eat. Waiting there would be dessert. A birthday cake and other treats for my brother because today was his birthday!!

I got Sue in the act about a week ago when told her I wanted to have everyone help him celebrate the day. She organized everything and turned it into a wonderful surprise party for him!

Food Porn. Street style.

sually, my food porn pics are all of food placed nicely on dishes. I try to get a good angle to take the picture so as to show off the food at its best.

We ate at restaurants and we had good meals and we so-so meals. I only had one meal that no amount of money in the world would be sufficient reward to try it again.

Semana Santa Processions. Easter Sunday at Iglesia San Pedro.

Today was a day of joyous celebration for it was the day that all of Antigua celebrated the Resurrection of Jesus Christ and I was lucky to have been a part of it.

Only one procession was scheduled and that was the one leading out of San Pedro Church.


Soon created these panoramas using photos taken on his Canon point and shoot camera.   It's amazing the images you can capture without a wide angle lens.  I thought they were so cool that they deserved to be showcased and so I'm posting them up.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Hiking up Volcan de Pacaya.

What was I thinking when I said I wanted to hike up Volcan Pacaya which is an active volcano? Yes, it still erupts on a daily basis....lava flows and all. I blame it on the guide books and websites that say that the hike is a "must-do" activity and that the hike is moderately easy. Moderately easy, my ass!! Well, let's not jump ahead of things. Let's start from the beginning.

Alfombras of Semana Santa.

One of the unique features of the Holy Week celebrations in Guatemala is the creation of *carpets* (alfombras) made from flowers, vegetables and colored sawdust. Often the rugs were often adorned with other materials. We saw eggs, bottle caps, plastic balls just to name a few.

Going to the mercado!

Eyeing the mangoes.  The variety was astounding.  We tried as many different ones as we could.
We found the mercado on our first day in Antigua and thanks to the Fruit Obsessed One aka my brother, we returned nearly every day we were in Antigua to buy fruit.

The Sound of Music.

This small entertained while we ate dinner at a restaurant in Panajachel.
Everywhere we went in Guatemala, we could the sound of music coming from the marimba, the national instrument of Guatemala.

The marimba is in xylophone family of instruments and we saw it being played solo as well as accompanied by other instruments including maracas, woodwinds, drums and the cello. The marimbas we saw also varied in sized - from two people playing the same instrument to seven.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Semana Santa Processions. Good Friday at Catedral de San José.

Fifteen different processions took place during Semana Santa (Holy Week). Processions varied in size and duration.  Today's highlight was the Good Friday procession leading out of Catedral.

The procession was scheduled to start at 2pm so we made our way to Parque Central after lunch and arrived before the procession started.

Semana Santa Processions. La Merced.

he La Merced procession is the one that kicks off the Good Friday celebrations and so it is THE one to watch. For that reason, the group, minus Sue all decided that we would get up bright and early and meet in the lobby to catch the procession. We actually saw the procession twice that morning....the first time it was around 6am and the second time around 10am.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Cerro de la Cruz.

On the way back to Antigua from Santiago Zamora, Sue had had the driver take us to Cerro de la Cruz which sits high on a hill above the town.  Saved us the 30 minute plus walk from town center.  From Cerro de la Cruz, we had sweeping views of the town below and Volcan Agua in the background.

Santiago Zamora. When women come together.....

Great things can be achieved. That was the lesson I was reminded of today when we visited the town of Santiago Zamora, located just a short chicken bus ride outside of Antigua.

First, the journey to Santiago Zamora.