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April 25, 2003

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We 'graduated' from Spanish school this morning - Dios Mia - and left Antigua for Guatemala City, or simply, 'Guate.' It's a sprawling city where every visitor should keep one eye over the shoulder, a hand on the belongings, and legs flexed at the ready to run. Many people warned us that muggers are like pigeons in Guate: they're everywhere. Why do we want to come here? We're headed south and Guate serves as a transport hub for destinations in that direction.
With this view outside our hotel room we can't wait to explore the city
Guatemala City was founded in 1776 to be a capital in an earthquake free zone (the planners were wrong, major earthquakes rock this capital and cause terrible damage). It's laid out in a grid like all Guatemalan urban centers. The Plaza Mayor serves as the city's heart, surrounded by Palacio Nacional and the Catedral Metropolitana.
Jill as Vanna White with a backpack.