Guatemala City

BART:

I had no idea what Guatemala City had to offer.  The city was never in my radar for places to visit.  We were fortunate enough to be in the city during Semana de Santos (Holy Week).

We found a cheap hotel, Hotel Quetzali, in the heart of the historic district of Guatemala City.  The city is divided into zones, and this happens to be numero uno.

It was a hot muggy day.  The pavement radiated from the Central American sun.  Most of the streets were deserted, but off in the distance, we saw a large crowd.  Adam and I figured it was part of Semana de Santos, since we left Antigua the same morning and the town was preparing for the festivities.

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Once we checked in, we headed toward the gathering crowd.

It was an odd mix of a funeral procession and a celebration.  There were groups of men, groups of women, and groups of children carrying floats with each depicting Mary or Jesus.  Their steps synchronized, swaying back and forth as if they were floating on a calm ocean.  In the periphery were families and street vendors.  The parents and children watching intently, with the occasional cellphone popping over the crowd to capture this centuries old tradition in the digital age.  The vendors were screaming their services, flavored shaved ice, cold soda, hot dogs, hamburgers, and dolls.

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We learned that there were multiple parades going around the historical district.  When we left one parade, we encountered another.  We heard large booms coming from the distance.  We actually ended up ahead of a parade and the booms started to get closer.  There were two people carrying mortars firing off blanks to clear the crowd ahead.  We cleared.


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Adam and I soon headed over to the central park and grabbed lunch and drank in the Sunday Guatemalan City life.  A couple teenage girls sheepishly walked towards us and asked for our pictures.  We spent the next 10 minutes getting our photos taken with them.  All of their cameras soon had images of Adams goofy smile and my confused look of our sudden celebrity.

The sun and energy soon drained us.  We headed back to hotel for the night were we proceeded to watch the Bachelor.  Correction, when I proceeded to watch the Bachelor.

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