By Rachel Canji and Abby Kmet
This morning was a great morning, wanna know why?… because we had an extra hour and half of beauty sleep! We started the day off at 7:30 AM with our usual breakfast choice of eggs, fruit, yogurt, oatmeal and granola. Soon after, we left in GSO (Global Shore Opportunities) vans to Antigua, one of the largest cities in Guatemala. Each of our vans crammed 12 people inside which, along with the crazy Guatemalan traffic, made our experience very interesting. Once we got to Antigua, Fred, our Global Shore team leader, led us through the maze of the food market. It was filled with people and interesting, exotic smells – one of the smells coming from the raw meat hanging from many of the vendors’ stands. Now we understand why they told us not to eat street meat, lol! After the market, we met Alfredo, our tour guide, who took us through historical places around Antigua. We toured the ruins of the city’s cathedral and then the nunnery, which had beautiful landscaping (group photo attached) and a very cool “sotano” room. This room in the basement was circular and made from concrete resulting in incredible acoustics that echoed throughout the city. Our team sang many songs such as O Canada, the Doxology, Amazing Grace and Hallelujah – it sounded angelic – other tourists even came down to listen and record us!
Following our tour, we went to a cute and aesthetic restaurant in the city called, Luna De Miel. This restaurant is known for its sweet and savory crepes, which were delicious! Their smoothies were also very refreshing – we highly recommend these if you ever visit Antigua. With our full stomachs, we then slowly climbed the Cierra de la Cruz, which is a very popular tourist site to view the colourful city. While up on the hill, we took lots of photos and then saved a homeless dog by giving it some of our water. It was beautiful and breath-taking!
After we climbed down, we split off into groups and went to multiple market places in the city. We shopped around for 2 hours strengthening our bargaining skills and bought lots of common souvenirs such as, jewelry, historical items, key chains, coffee beans and homemade clothing. We consider it a successful day; no one got pick-pocketed, we got lots of cool photos for instagram and got some great market deals. This day in Antigua is definitely one to remember!