Today we traveled to Antigua, Guatemala, a beautiful town hidden behind walls. All the streets are cobblestone and as your car bounces along, you mainly see walls, most of which look like they need paint. But behind the walls are amazing things, like our hotel, Casa Santo Domingo. It is a former convent and features ruins from hundreds of years ago. The 128 rooms are each unique and you’d never know you at a hotel as you walk the grounds, which is several acres. A truly hidden gem.
Antigua is one of Guatemala’s most visited cities by tourists, but it doesn’t have a tourist feel. There are many beautiful hotels hiding behind the walls and we ate at a couple of special places during our stay.
We walked around the town and went to Ruinas de Capuchinas, which are large ruins that are incredibly photogenic. Wandering around the multiple levels, it is hard to imagine how this was built hundreds of years ago and could still be standing. It featured incredibly arches and a large domed room that was architecturally astounding.
The people of Guatemala are incredibly friendly. And it’s not because we are tourists with cameras. I watch them greet each other on the street, everyone says “buenos dias” to each person they pass. It is part of their culture and is fun to see and be around. Edgar has a unique ability to make each person he photographs feel special. I noticed the first thing he does is ask them their name and he tells them his. He makes a connection right away. Two little girls on the street were selling trinkets for pennies and Edgar asked one if he could photograph her. Of course, she was excited. Then Edgar noticed the other girl feeling left out, so he got her in some shots too. They all were excited.
After a great dinner at the hotel, we did some light painting on the hotel grounds. It is fun to light up the old buildings with a flashlight and see what happens.
Tomorrow is another adventure.