Saturday, 17 March 2012

The cobblestone streets of Antigua

The moment we reached Antigua, Chris literally dragged me to meet all his old friends and the families that he stayed with 6 years ago. If Chris is a puppy, he would be wagging his tail and yelping at me excitedly by the door to get me to hurry up! (Chris' note: woof!)
I loved Antigua the moment I set my eyes on this place. Walking around the cobblestone streets makes me feel like someone's setting up traps for me. Imagine walking on the sidewalk and having to look at the ground (for potholes, half broken tiles that will give way under your foot or uneven cobblestones that will give you a twisted ankle) and all the time you need to look ahead because there are windows with boxed grills protruding out of houses just wide enough to whack your shoulder or head (depending on how tall you are). Then there are all these people squeezing past you in the narrow streets and sometimes you need to step off the walkway into the cobblestone street and concentrate on not tripping as well as swerving oncoming cars, tuk-tuks, motorbikes etc.
This is also the place that Chris had been prepping me up for all the possible mugging scenarios. (how he would give me the cue to run, or to carry some loose change, ready to throw at the bad guy or to give them our money if a gun or knife is involved). Chris is not being overly paranoid; tons of muggings had taken place here. On our 2nd day here, we had heard a couple of stories already. One of our friend was even chased down the streets by a guy with a knife demanding for 100quetzales (about USD12)!
Apart from the fact that Antigua is dangerous, it is a beautiful place surrounded by volcanos. The weather here is pleasant and people really warm and nice. If you had been to Cusco in Peru and loved it there, you will love it here too. I can see why people kept coming back to Antigua or make this place home.

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