Saturday, January 14, 2017

2017 Grand World Voyage, Day 111, Puerto Quetzal, Guatemala (Part 1 of 2)

I was out early for sail-in with a perfect view of volcanoes and spectacular Guatemalan mountain ranges.  We were first off the ship, taxi ride negotiated and off for the day to the former Capitol of Central America, Antiqua with our group. On our ninety minute drive to Antiqua through the Guatemalan countryside, we saw sugar cane fields, banana and coffee plantations.  Three volcanoes surround the colonial city with the highlight being able to see the Pacaya volcano actively spewing lava.  Antigua is a UNESCO World Heritage site with some interesting, well preserved architectural and historical buildings. The city of cobblestone streets represents a mixed of Mayan civilization and Spanish settlers, which have come together to develop a rich and colorful culture.   The driver let us out at the Central Square framed by City Hall, Palace of Captains and Saint Joseph’s Cathedral and our group, Ann, Cathy, Margo, Harry, Carole, Ian and I started our walking tour of Antiqua. We made our way to the icon of Antigua, Santa Catalina Arch dating back to the early 1600’s and the La Merced Church and Convent Guatemala’s first male monastery.  From there Cathy and I toured the Capuchinas Convent, with the main attraction being a circular room housing 18 cells.  We met up with the group for lunch and continued to the Casa Santo Domingo a beautifully restored Convent and 5 star hotel.  The rest of the day was spent strolling the streets of this lovely city.  A great day in Guatemala!!!!!  Looking forward to the next two sea days.  This blog is in two parts, this is part 1.




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