Antigua, Guatemala

I was lucky enough to snag an amaaazingly cheap round trip ticket to Guatemala and decided to visit Antigua, which is about an hour away from Guatemala City.  

Antigua is an old Spanish style city situated between three visible volcanoes.  It's a blend of ruin-like and renovated old buildings, cobble stone streets, cafes, art galleries and street vendors.
Honestly, I didn't do too much research about the city prior to my visit.  I had heard through the grapevine that it was good place to visit, lots of art and good food, which sounds like my kinda' place.  So when I saw the ticket, I went for it.  
The city is visually stunning.  I love old peeling walls, brick and iron work doorways, and Spanish tiled roofs.  Antigua was the kind of place that kept me visually stimulated my entire visit.
I was surprised at the mix of new and old.  Not only just in the architecture, but even within the community.  There were hip, stylish cafes and galleries intermingled with indigenous (Mayan) folks walking the streets in traditional clothing.
There are textiles everywhere you look.  You cannot imagine the stunning array of textures and colors, all hand woven and dyed.  
Bartering is a huge part of the shopping process here.  I'm not a fan of bartering - it's not something I'm good at nor something I feel comfortable doing.  I'm a get to the point kinda' gal.  Tell me what you want for it and I'll decide if I want it.  But that's not how it works in Guatemala, which I learned.  If someone gives you a price and you say no and start to walk away, they will literally chase you down the street (in a friendly way!) offering lower prices.  Everything is already so ridiculously inexpensive for the variety and quality, that I feel bad bartering.  But, that's how it is....so you do what you gotta do.

In the center of town is a huge store named Centro de Textiles Tradicionales.  It's enormous!  So many different styles of textiles made into clothing, blankets, pillows, wall hangings, you name it - they sell it.  Additionally, they sell all sorts of other odds and ends.  Like these strange masks and dolls.
Not to mention this Jesus chair.  (???)
There is an ammmaaaaazing market where you can find just about anything.  The fruits and veggies are out of control.  Varieties I've never seen before.  It's such a shame you can't take produce on the plane.  I would have taken suitcases full!  And of course homemade pastries, tortillas....yum.
These buses are super funky, but be careful because the drivers are maniacs on the road! 
On my last day I strolled through the Museo de Santiago.  The building is gorgeous, it looks like a castle.  Inside there is a room which exhibits old torture tools, including an actual chamber where the torture used to take place.  If those walls could talk!
I only visited for 4 days and I felt that wasn't nearly enough time to linger the way I would have liked to.  I took so many photos - enough that it would probably be better to just do another post all together with additional photos.  I'm keeping my eyes open for another ticket bargain.  As soon as I see one, I'm outta' here!

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