Yesterday was another long travel day but it was one of the best we’ve had so far! We had a private bus for the whole trip and sang songs pretty much the entire journey. We listened to Britney Spears, Backstreet Boys, Spice Girls, Nsync, and a ton of other classics. A nice throw back to elementary and middle school! The craziest part was that everyone knew the songs, no matter where in the world they were from! SO fun.
We then arrived at our awesome hotel, which we were on the entire top floor of. Alex (the Austrian), Laura (the Scot), Nadia (the Australian), and I got the biggest room (aka the party room) that had a living room area with couches and a dining table, etc. AND just look at our VIEW from the window of our room, HOLY COW!!
We all met up at the park square for a quick tour of the city. It’s so cute and small, and all the streets are cobblestone.
Afterwards, Laura, Alex, and I stopped into this little wine shop that had wine holsters across all of the walls and only one HUGE table that you could sit at. One of the women who works there, was telling us her story and how she ended up in Antigua. She was originally from Germany and was traveling around the world when she came across the little city of Antigua. Since, she liked the town so much, she stayed! It was crazy to hear her speak in Spanish, German, and English and not seem to have a harsh accent since she’s from Germany. The wine was also delicious and fairly cheap!
By that time, we were supposed to meet up with everyone for dinner so we rushed back to the hotel, quickly changed, and headed out to the restaurant. I had a ton of nachos, which were delicious and cheesy (my favorite!).
We then went to a pretty popular bar in Antigua and danced and had a few more drinks there. At that point, I was pretty tired and feeling crappy from a cold I appeared to have contracted, so I headed back to the hotel with the first group to leave the bar.
Today, I got up early with Raf (the Belgian) and Laura (the Scot) to go on a full city/historical tour. So, we went back to the square from yesterday and tried to find this random woman we were supposed to meet. While we were wandering around, SO many people came up to us, trying to sell us stuff or give us a tour but we said we wanted the tour from this woman. One guy tried to tell us that the woman we were waiting for didn’t start until 9:30AM but that he would take us on a tour right then (at 9). We denied his request but then waited around for this woman in case his claim was true and that she didn’t come into the square until 9:30. Around 9:40AM we finally spoke to a police officer (la policía) who told us that the woman was out of town until Tuesday. Of course, hah.
So instead, we gave ourselves our own tour! We saw a ton of beautiful buildings and churches. We also met up with Alex (the Austrian) when we were getting coffee. We then stopped for lunch a bit later in a cute little cafe where there were a ton of English speakers. It seemed like the non-native place to be! I got a turkey, brie, and apple sandwich with sweet potato fries which was DELICIOUS. (note to self: make this at home ALL the time!)
After Raf and Alex left, Laura and I kept wandering around and shopping. We then stopped in a chocolate shop a guy told us about in the wine shop the previous day. We signed up for a tour for 4pm later on that day. We kept wandering then eventually went back to the hotel to change for our chocolate tour/workshop.
The workshop was SO fun! Our tour guide was hilarious and so enthusiastic about chocolate. We learned about the entire process of making chocolate and what all of the parts of a cocoa plant can be used for. So as our tour guide was telling us the history of chocolate, he was also having us make or mix certain drinks to go along with the history. The first drink, was one that the Mayans made from the cocoa plant. It was hot like hot chocolate but spicy! It was pretty gross! Next came, a drink the Spaniards made which was sweet and tasty (much better than the spicy one)! Lastly came, the European drink that was just like hot chocolate. The very last part, we learned to make the little chocolate pieces everyone eats today AND we got to make our own chocolates (my. heaven. on. Earth). We picked out a plastic mold and added any fun toppings we wanted, such as sprinkles, ginger, cinnamon, orange rinds, cocoa beans, etc. It was so fun AND delicious.
Tonight, we are just hanging out at the hotel since we are leaving early tomorrow for Panajachel! We’re apparently leaving our big bags at this hotel and taking a smaller bag for the next two days; let’s hope my ‘day’ bag is big enough for two full days worth!