To wrap up our swing through Guatemala we came back through Antigua and Guatemala City, spending two days in each. Antigua is one of our favorite places anywhere; we loved it four years ago, we loved it 10 days ago, and we loved it for these last two days.
On our first swing through Antigua we stayed at a beautiful little place that was maybe a 15-minute walk into the center of town and while that’s not horrible it’s also not ideal. So this time we spent a little more and stayed just about smack dab in the middle of everything. It made it so much easier to hang out in the central park, walk to cool restaurants, and explore those old ruined, abandoned churches that give the city so much character. A highlight for us was touring the ruins of the old Cathedral of Santiago, wrecked by the earthquake of 1773, something that somehow we missed on our first two visits here. Oh yeah, that and the Absinthe Negroni we had one night at bar that specializes in absinthe drinks. We survived, though some day I might just start raving madly.
Then it was two days back in Guatemala City. We had to spend at least one night there, since Mark’s parents had an early flight out on Monday morning (the upscale hotel neighborhood is shockingly close to the airport, even though it’s very much a genuine neighborhood), so we figured we might as well spend two nights and show them a good time.What’s a good time in Guatemala City? For us there are three components. First, there is a spectacular Greek restaurant, La Taberna del Griego, where we eat lunch nearly every day we’re there. The owner is Greek, born and raised, and the food is every bit as good as what we had last summer while we were traveling around Greece. Second, we love Avenue of the Americas on a Sunday when they close the street to traffic and seemingly everyone in the city – and their dogs – come out to walk, run, stroll, and bike. And finally, dinner at Hacienda Real, a big meat restaurant that serves stupendous quantities of grilled meat and vegetables. We ate there twice, though the second time none of us were hungry which seemed to discount the value of the place. We were particularly amused when Mark’s mother ordered off the children’s menu, but hey, whatever works, right?
Finally, then, on Monday morning they flew back to Michigan while Mark & I got on a plane to head further south. Next stop, Peru!