Thursday, February 21, 2013

Fun in Chichicastenango

The Hotel Santo Tomas was highly recommended for our trip to Chichi and it certainly proved to be a lovely place.  We arrived on Wednesday afternoon around 4:30 and hit the streets to see the city before the busyness of the market on Thursday.  This is the most famous Guatemalan marketplace.  Our porter had mentioned that we could have a fire built in our fireplace in the evening, but we didn't return until bedtime.  The rooms were pretty cold, but we needed to head to bed didn't want to sleep with an unattended fire in the fireplace.  We slept warm, weighted down with heavy wool blankets, but getting out of bed was a very chilly affair.

When we first headed to our rooms in the afternoon the floors were being swept and this wooden dustpan with an upright handle was being used to clean up the flower petals on the tile floors.

The hotel is known for it's museum quality folk art and antiques.  Every hallway was more intriguing than the previous one.

All of the male hotel staff wore traditional Chichi traje and it is very striking.  This fellow was doing today's floor clean-up.

We didn't walk over to the cemetary, but caught a glimpse of it as we explored the city.

This is the famous entrance to the city.  Mike has just purchased another wooden flute to add to his collection.

This morning we went up to the roof of the hotel to get a bird's eye view of the city.  It is one of the highest points in the city and the view from every side was intriguing.

From above it's hard to imagine how you can find your way from one house to another in this maze that doesn't have any visible separation.

Looking down into the courtyard from the roof of the hotel.

There were many flower pots lined up along the wall and sandwiched among them was this pot with a most unusual face.  Wish I knew the story behind this piece of art.

Today's market was less busy than usual.  Most Thursdays and Sundays these stairs are completely covered with sellers, making the church inaccessible.  In the front a Mayan ceremony is being performed, which was a bit surprising.

As we were about to leave, we sat down in the hotel to have a cold drink and this group came into the hotel.  This is likely Chichi traje as well, but we didn't want to interrupt some fairly formal proceedings to ask.  The table holds a unique wooden candle holder and large candles.

The courtyard has many gorgeous birds.  We were there when their handlers brought them in for their breakfast, so they ignored us completely.

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