a feeling thinking person can’t come to antigua or elsewhere in guatemala, admire the rich colonial tableau spread across the streets, and NOT have one’s mind turn back to the horrific events of the guatemalan civil war. more than 200,000 people killed. over 80% of them the mayan rural poor. HERE is a video detailing some of the history of this time. i thought it was quite good.
learning about the history of a place helps me to absorb & process the experience more deeply.
so here i am. i walk the streets i see the beauty, but i also carry with me an infintessimally small understanding of the history of violence and poverty of guatemala.
at night i read.
an 1899 travel guide to guatemala. fascinating! a book about a house and the very interesting couple who salvaged it. i finished the page-turner i mentioned in an earlier post. and now i am beginning to read about the birds and textiles. the banana republics. the list goes on and on…
one of the things i appreciate so much in houses i rent are the libraries of books that the readers of the house leave out for other readers. i love hunkering down at night in this OLD house and being transported to a literary historical wonderland.
i am in the dining room right now as i tap away on the keys of my laptop. 2 passageway doors to my right and left are open to a small and large courtyard. a shuttered window is open wide. cool air, hot coffee, shelves of books, and a sketchbook to fill. what shall i draw next?
I am venturing out late this afternoon so i can be out walking as the sun is setting. today i will visit some ruins, churches, and antigua’s 17th-century arco de santa catarina. (done!)
i hit the streets early this morning to buy milk for my coffee and to let my wet hair dry in the sun. i enjoy roaming in the early mornings and evenings the best. the highland light slants across the streets. the fleecy clouds are dusky and golden. and always la angigua sits practically in the shadow of the towering cone – vulcan de agua. she is mesmerizing. no matter where i am, inside or out, my eyes are constantly scanning the sky for the volcanoes. sometimes they are surrounded by clouds and you’d never imagine they were there! other times they rise straight up from the surrounding forests.
most of the pics today are from the popenoe house tour.
the house & grounds are stunning and especially interesting if you’ve been reading about the former owner, wilson popenoe – kansas boy turned botanist. then… agronomist for united fruit company.
the gardens are sprawling. lush. tropical foliage drapes over walls and climbs trees.
orchids rest in tree limbs. the gardens are guided, but not completely controlled. there is sense of wildness about them.
we climbed a child-sized spiral staircase to the roof for a view over antigua.
many of these plates are from spain.
the textiles worn & made by the women is heartbreakingly beautiful. the most intricate huipils you can imagine. all of the different villages have specialized techniques. when syd & mary arrive next week we’ll head out on a fact-finding mission & shopping excursion. with a guide present i’ll feel more at ease taking photos of the women in their attire. we also have a chicken bus adventure planned.
i’m off to lago de atitlan on sunday. as always when i travel alone, i enjoy reading your comments at the end of the day. good to have you along for the ride. xo.
Bev Langby says
Love your header pic that lone bird is amazing….well must say the furniture ,all the carved woodwork is stunning ,love that bench on the patio….the ceramic tiles hanging on the wall are my kinda thing ,wonderful….hehe can’t wait for that Chicken Bus
Karen Goetz says
What astounding photos. Just beauty and history everywhere! I do the same thing you do, Mary Ann…read and learn about the history of where I visit. I love to imagine those who have walked the same streets and even homes and hallways, and imagine their lives. It makes it such a rich experience. Thank you for taking the time to post all of your photos for all of us. Much appreciated! I heard it is VERY hot in SoCal, so I imagine the temps there are balmy in comparison. Can’t wait to see your art journal!!! Have you used Quin coral yet? I love all of those plates, but when I saw the deer one I coveted it very much! The art on the plates actually reminds me of YOUR art in some ways. Interesting!
Hi Mary Ann – love these photos, and I also love the tone of this posting. There seems to be a deeply spiritual connection to this place for you. What a lovely place for you to be. Love being there with you through your posts.
Susie LaFond says
Wowza Mary Ann. Your photos are fantastic. Thank you so much for taking us along for the ride. I am lovin’ every single detail and I am there in spirit. I’m curious, what season is it? From all the greenery it’s hard to tell. Forgive my lack of knowledge and I could ask google, but what fun would that be when you are right there and ‘google’ is well ‘google’. I adore all the small details you take the time to capture and I can only imagine what your sweet eyes are taking in as you wander about. I’m gonna go take another look at all those photos and dream myself there for a bit on this saturday afternoon. Errands can wait. 😉
Mary Ann Moss says
here in guatemala there are 2 seasons rainy & dry. this is the end of the rainy season. big fluffy clouds daily, but how i wish for a gigantic thunderstorm. only a tiny bit of drizzle so far. dry season arrives officially at the beginning of november. the closer one gets to the equator, the more the 2 distinct seasons come into play. the southern hemisphere has seasons opposite ours in the northern hemisphere. so for example, in australia right now they are experiencing spring and soon will come their summer.
I am so happy I found you via Ginny Smallenburg a few years back. You have really enriched my life. I admire your fearlessness most. Buy a ticket and go .Alone even ! What? I also enjoy sister Carol.
Such a beautifully rich (in color and happiness) country.
Carol K says
I love traveling with you! You take the sort of photos I might take, and it feels like we’re walking along together. I had a friend from Guatemala once. She came to this country to work – both a day job and a night job, where I met her. She sent most of her money home to the children she left behind. She put them through college and was very proud, but she didn’t have an easy life.
I especially love the picture of the bird on the roof!
Donna, Doni, Lady D says
What a great journey. Enjoy … obviously you are! Finally found you and got everything straight .. so I can visit more often.
sharon chapman says
So much history, so little time. Such wonderful architecture and be still my heart when it comes to the flowers. Thanks again for taking us along.
Lori Wostl says
I am ruthlessly managing blog reading and browsing time – however I never skip your posts. Thanks for bringing us along. I truly enjoy the fact that you don’t disregard the strife and poverty while embracing the beauty. Do you know the front of the hand and back of the hand story? Can’t have one without the other (as long as humans are involved) A more holistic way of saying it is that the front of the hand arises with the back of the hand…to disregard one is ridiculous and takes away from the REAL experience…probably not saying this clearly enough, but I will count on you to understand what I am saying. Love you.
I LOVE hearing from you almost every day! I also love making travel journals when I’m on a trip. Just got back from Croatia and Prague. I make a copy for my “travel biddy”. So fun! Thanks for yours!
Mary Ann Moss says
sounds great kath…wish i could see it! are you on flickr? if so leave a link for us.
Vicki in Michigan says
Wow. Over and over. The volcanoes, the architecture, the craftsmanship, the flowers……………………………….. Wow.
Thank you for taking us along!
Janet Ghio says
I’m sure we will see some sketches of those plates in your travel journal. I love going along with you on your trips! Thanks for inclding all of us.
Sharon Tomlinson says
I always look forward to your travel photos and your perspective of wherever you are. What fun to have your friends join you soon. Looking forward to your next post.
Claudia Fuller says
You said many of the plates were from Spain – the designs on many of them reminded me of tiles in the Alhambra and around Granada. Such lovely Moorish designs.
Leslie J. Moran says
As usual a stellar travelogue. Guatemala has not been on my radar of late, but really, really enjoying your observations and of course your sketches. So thankful that you are highlighting your finds and opening our horizons to this incredible place. Watching and delighting in your impressions. Have a wonderful weekend and stay safe. Hopefully things will stay stable during your visit. xxxxx
Those plants! Those plates!! The volcanoes!!! Hevvin ~
Judy H. says
Wonderful pix! Love the beautiful wall of ceramics/plates, and the flowers/orchids.
Glenda Hoagland says
The pictures of today’s post are especially wonderful. It is so amazing seeing the world through your eyes.
I feel like I am there with you. Those photos are spectacular. I am glad you are travelling and enjoying your year off! Thanks for sharing your adventures with us.
Perfect day after perfect day. I am enjoying your trip to Antigua sooooo much!