Brushing up on Jesus

0 Posted by - 05/06/2015 - Uncategorized

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.

Keen to explore, we quickly change and head back out.  We don’t get far before we encounter a crowd and upon investigating, discover a colourful re-enactment of Jesus’ entry to Jerusalem.

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 pass a church yard where volunteers are sprucing up a series of scenes depicting the stations of the cross, ready to be paraded through the streets later in the week.

The wedding-cake like cathedral ‘La Merced’ is getting a makeover too, forcing worshippers to pray outside.

We sit in the Jacaranda-shaded Plaza Mayor and people watch.

Later, we visit the local market and find it bursting with fresh produce.

We are not disappointed to find that the food on the street is equally as good.  We swoon at the sights and aromas of what is on offer

And stop to sample often.
Our exploring comes to an end when a dramatic sky concludes the colourful day.  We fall into bed exhausted and excited about the week ahead.