I can’t believe I haven’t been to Guatemala.  However we’re here now and it’s amazingly interesting. 

Our guide Dario Moran, went on and on about the volcanoes, the dried up river beds, the rock formations, etc.  Yes, we were impressed but Antigua was the goal.  We weren’t disappointed when we finally drove downwards into the old city.  

La Antigua, means “Ancient Guatemala.”    Roaming through the streets one notices that most buildings are only one story high.  Yes, as our guide mentioned…volcanoes dictate height.   There are adventurous places to visit, a working Jade Museum where we learned about traditional jade-carving techniques, a nun’s convent which was closer to a prison then a retreat and the central plaza complete with church and fountain where hundreds of vendors will surround tourists and do anything possible to get you to purchase their wares.  I bought a flute.  Push open ancient doors and discover ultra-modern restaurants and concert halls such as in Arrin Cuan.  Expect to encounter a city of contrasts where ever you venture.

On the way back to the ship I discovered that Dario and I are both admirers of Erich von Danikes (Chariots of the Gods and Gods from Outer Space).  In fact Dario and Erich are e-mail intimate friends. Von Danikes has altered many  of his previous views (Google his books), but he’s still pretty  much convinced that places such as Central and South America  have been visited by galaxy hoppers.  Dario and I winked at each other and concurred.