Tomorrow morning, I leave for Guatemala. I have a late morning flight which gets me to Guatemala City at 5:10 PM Central. At the La Aurora International Airport, I will try to convert dollars to quetzales (probably at felonious rates) and use some of the quetzales to get to me Antigua via shuttle bus. I will be spending my first five nights. My hotel is just past the Arco de Santa Catalina in the photo above, taking the first left. The volcano (Agua) is one of three surrounding the city.
For about 200 years, Santiago served as the third capital of Spanish Guatemala, moving to the present capital after a devastating earthquake in the 18th century. To this day, many of the old Spanish churches exist only as façades backed up by ruins. Even some of the church ruins are spectacular (see below).
If this trip turns out to be like my South America vacations, I will enjoy looking at the old Spanish churches almost as much as the ancient ruins. I was surprised, especially in Peru, where the churches were actually more interesting than the Inca ruins. It was not unusual for me to attend Mass, sometimes twice in one day, just so I could spend more time gaping at the religious artwork.
I may post once or twice during my trip—minus photographs, because I will be using computers that will not allow me to load data—though my next regular post will be at the end of the month. Wish me luck!