Palm Sunday. We find ourselves dumped, unceremoniously, by our collectivo driver onto the cobblestones streets of Antigua Guatemala. Dawn has barely broken (we have spent a fitful night on a long-distance bus) but the city is already beginning to bustle.
It is Semana Santa – Holy week. Unesco World Heritage listed Antigua, with her pastel coloured buildings and looming volcanoes is an enticing place to visit any time of year, but she really comes into her own during Semana Santa. The entire city participates in parades commemorating the passion, crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ, with preparations beginning weeks, or even months before.
The tiny inline-skate wheels on our luggage are no match for the bumpy ‘calles’, but we trip and trundle along until we reach our hostel. Unassuming from the street, we find inside a leafy, peaceful oasis decorated in swags of pasqua purple.
Thomas asks a LOT of questions about the performance and I realise I am a little rusty in the ‘Jesus’ department. I will need to do a bit googling if we are going to make it through the entire passion of Christ!
Wandering along side streets, we see tailors, busy sewing costumes for procession participants.
We sit in the Jacaranda-shaded Plaza Mayor and people watch.