It wasn't our intention to stay in Antigua for over a month - it was ultimately a case of circumstances. Luckily, the city is rather lovely - full of ruins, excellent restaurants, quaint cobbled streets and pretty churches. Set in a valley surrounded by volcanoes, it retains a traditional vibe despite being the number one spot in Guatemala for tourism.
We were able to secure a housesit for two separate weeks while the owner went off to visit friends in Costa Rica and Honduras. The house had a cute courtyard and it was a good opportunity to live like a local and catch up on some writing at the same time. We looked after three cats - Paris, Smiley and Spot. Paris was the trouble maker of the three (the white one in the picture below) and didn't like it when the other cats spent any time with us!
One of the cool things about living in Antigua was the active volcano which overlooked the city. It sent out puffs of smoke consistently. I never quite got over the surprise of glimpsing up from various locations throughout town to see such a spectacular sight.
Being in Antigua through Christmas and New Year, we saw several street parades where locals carried lanterns and sang Christmas carols. The sound of firecrackers going off was a constant soundtrack during the festive season. Christmas Eve is when the big celebrations take place, while Christmas Day tends to be family time.
My favorite restaurant was Frida's, yet another Central American restaurant honoring Frida Kahlo. The shrimp tacos were divine, as
were the margaritas! On the second day we were in town, a big football match involving Antigua was on TV. There was a fun atmosphere in Frida's
as we enjoyed some lunch and a substantial amount of shouting going on! Luckily, Antigua won!
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I'm busy working on my blog posts. Watch this space!