“I cannot rest from travel; I will drink life to the lees”.

Alfred, Lord Tennyson, Ulysses

After full day of non-stop sightseeing and picture taking (over 400 each!) Lucy and I were exhausted and ready for some rest and relaxation.  It was time for a drink.  Lucy knew just the place, the Sky Bar, which had a great selection of icy cold beers and drinks yet best of all, a rooftop deck with a view to the world.

The sun was beginning to set and cast its lovely shadows across the brightly colored terra-cotta buildings of Antigua.  I could hardly stand the urge and temptation to forego the drink and keep taking pictures.  Yet my camera battery was really dying down as was my energy.  It was also well past five o’clock happy hour.

As we wove our way through the cobblestone streets of Antigua I snapped a few passing pictures of the light reflecting off the buildings.  The sky had finally cleared up to a gorgeous baby blue yet the pesky, stubborn clouds would still not lift over the volcanoes.  I had yet to see their lovely, dominant peaks that surrounded Antigua and was hoping I would finally get my chance from the rooftop deck.  I kept my fingers crossed.

Come on now, please move over clouds!  You’re blocking my view!

We arrived at the bar and climbed up the winding stairs to increasingly loud levels of chatter.  Lucy had selected the bar for its view and atmosphere.  We were hoping to sit back, relax and reflect on our day. Instead, the bar was packed with a large group of rowdy college students.  Americans of course (my compatriots!).  And the more drinks they had, the louder and more rambunctious they became.

I love the rooftops!  I have a strange bit of an obsession with roofs.  I find them so fascinating and in every country they are unique.  

We grabbed one of the last tables and had to nearly yell to each other to be heard.  It was not what we had in mind but the view was so spectacular.  Now, if only the clouds would rise and give us the prized view of Antigua….the Volcan Agua who looms off in the distance and through the Arco de Santa Catalina.

The sun was setting but the clouds stubbornly hung low protecting the pointed tip of Volcan Agua.  There was still time.  I was still hopeful.

Where art thou, Volcan Agua?  Please clouds, can you step aside so I can see her?

Finally!!!!! There she is off in the distance, the Volcan Agua!

Feeling satisfied and a little more relaxed thanks to the icy, cold Gallo, we took a walk through the heart of Antigua.  I was hoping to catch the last tunes of the marimba band playing but we were too late.  It will have to be for another time.  After twenty four hours in Antigua I was under her spell.  I’d fallen in love.  I know I’ll be back.

Lucy was an amazing host and guide for my weekend in Antigua.  I felt bad because we were running like mad trying to see as much as possible all while she was feeling a bit under the weather.  It was time for a quick pick me up (mi gasolina, remember?) and Lucy thought a “to go” cup of java at the McCafe would do her some good.    Lucy took me to perhaps the most sensational view from a McDonalds in the world:  Ronald McDonald himself sat gleefully on a bench with a view of the volcano.  What could be better than that? 

There he is….Ronald McDonald with a bench in front of the volcano!  Too bad the clouds came back for this shot and blocked the full view again.  But you get the picture.  

Perhaps the loveliest McDonalds in the world!

Despite my utter dislike of McDonalds and its fattening, unhealthy food (but the coffee rocks!), I still had to giggle at good old Ronald McDonald.  He is an icon.  World-famous.  I couldn’t think of a better place to rest than here in serendipitous Antigua.  Land of resilience and strength.  A piece of art.  

Stay tuned….one last final farewell post on Antigua which will wrap up my Guatemala series.  I’ll be sad to be done and will go back to the archives for the next place to feature. Will it be Spain?  Ireland?  Or Greece?  You’ll have to wait and see. 


  1. Nicole, some more gorgeous pics!!! I especially love the late afternoon light glowing on the wall in the first one. Also photo 3, the aerial shot of San Francisco ruins and Agua volcano looming behind is beautiful!
    Thank you for sharing my love and enthusiasm for photographing Antigua! I had a blast with you!!!
    Can´t wait for your final post! Cerro de la Cruz?

  2. Every time I read your posts and marvel at the visually amazing images, you help me pursue my dream to travel and explore the world. It may not be huge but it would be something that will help me appreciate life, love and the so many fascinating people out there and their equally wonderful culture. Thank you. Have a great weekend.

    1. You are so kind! Your words mean so much to me as I find your blog the most inspiring, beautifully written blog I’ve ever read. I love it. Keep up the incredible work!!!

  3. Hey Nicole! Wow, that is quite the bar. I find it hilarous (and also kind of disgusting) that the bar was filled with loud roudy college students from America. I know when I was in Italy, it was obvious that the locals thought it was very rude when we got kind of loud at the restaurant for dinner. Hopefully it wasn’t the same there! I’m still jealous of how much you get to travel overseas. I’ve been back from Peru for 5 months and I’m dying to get out of here again! haha.

    Anyway, its been a long time since I got to stop by here again– looks like I have some catching up to do. Talk to you soon,
    – Nate

    1. Thanks for the comment! I am sure you’ll get a trip figured out soon! You are lucky since you are young and free! No family to worry about so I’m sure you will get somewhere soon! I love your new blog!

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