Due to my glasses debacle, I came back to Antigua a day early and had absolutely nothing to do. I decided that there was so much of Antigua I still hadn’t seen. So, even though I had been living in Antigua for seven weeks, I decided to put on my tourist cap for the day and explore.
My first stop was the absolutely beautiful Casa Santa Domingo Hotel. It was an old convent and in 1989, it was turned into a hotel. It is built among the ruins of this place that was destroyed in one of the many earthquakes. The entire hotel was hidden behind just a little door. Without the tiny sign, I never would have known this enormous hotel existed. Still one of my favorite things about Antigua is that you never know what lies behind the doors. It’s always a mystery. I walked around the hotel with a guide and went to the museum there as well. You would just never see anything like this anywhere in the US. Of course I couldn’t leave without taking a million pictures.
My next stop was the Jade Factory and museum. Guatemala is one of the world’s major sources of jade and it is everywhere in the country. I have bought several little pieces at the market, but this place had the genuine real stuff. After the quick tour, I bought a beautiful necklace in the store that I can’t wait to wear on a special occasion.
I couldn’t spend too long at the Jade Factory because more ruins were awaiting me. Next, it was off to Capuchinas, another old convent that housed about 70 nuns before being destroyed by an earthquake and relocated in Guatemala City. With no guide this time, I wondered around the gorgeous ruins for quite a while. I think these ruins were the winner in mind in terms of beauty.
After stopping in a hospital that I thought was a church I could explore, I went to the final ruins of the day, Santa Clara. With a guide that spoke very little English, I explored these HUGE ruins of yet another old convent. And of course, took more pictures.
For having nothing planned for the day, it turned into a wonderful day of exploration and beauty right in Antigua.
“The Only Living Boy In New York” -Simon and Garfunkel