Guatemala City

So here we are in Guatemala City, and it didn’t disappoint.  I had very low expectations and it met them.

When at the airport we saw people in colorful traditional Mayan garb, we knew we are not in Kansas anymore.  The city is divided into zones.  We are staying in zona 10.  Sounds like a clip from a dystopian movie, and looks like it.  This must be one of the most run-down cities I’ve ever been to.  Zona 10 is more upscale than others.  This is where most hotels and restaurants are located.  Our hotel is actually quite nice – very old world, with somewhat faded but grand decor, a stained-glass cupola in the lobby’ ceiling, and hand-carved furniture.  This hotel is from another era, and so are the people celebrating various occasions here this Saturday night.

After dropping off our luggage, we had a brief tour of the historical area located in Zona 1.  Zona 1 is not the most dangerous zona in the city, there is another one, which is worse, but it sure looks seedy.  So seedy in fact, that Kenny and I seriously considered not leaving the safety of the car (and it was even questionable whether being in the car was safer than being outside) .  So we got out and walked around the main square and checked out the main cathedral.

There is no saving grace for this city, really, it’s dirty, ugly, dilapidated, and poor.  But we knew that and didn’t come to this country to see it.  This is just a gateway to the treasures deeper in the countryside, and tomorrow we are off to the first of them: lake Atitlan.


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