Golf in the morning at Pete Dye's new Fuego Maya; Antigua, Guatemala at night
Playing golf at the new Pete and Perry Dye-designed Fuego Maya Golf Course here at La Reunion in Guatemala has been a great experience, but what really sets off a trip like this is having a chance to explore nearby Antigua.
I got a crash course yesterday afternoon and evening in the culture there, visiting several of the churches, seeing some of the ruins and capping it off with dinner at Casa Santo Domingo, a hotel and museum that has to be seen to be believed.
Casa Santo Domingo, which once sheltered the followers of the order of Santo Domingo de Guzmán, goes back more than 500 years. The architecture and artifacts have been excavated and preserved and are open to the public. There are even crypts that preserve the remains of church and Spanish officials from hundreds of years ago. And the restaurant there was terrific.
During my quick tour I learned that this city not only once served as the capital of Guatemala but all of Central America before the last of a series of devastating earthquakes forced the majority of the residents out of the city, and the capital was moved to what is today, Guatemala City.
Antigua is chalk full of old fountains, churches and monasteries, many of them in ruins. In a couple of weeks, this city will swell and explode with color during its Easter and Lent celebrations. There are also plenty of great coffee shops, bars and restaurants and young and old street peddlers willing to bargain with you to sell their colorful crafts
One young girl followed me for several hundred yards to sell me a multi-colored cloth runner. Her English was very good, by the way. When I told her I was sorry that I wouldn’t buy it, she informed me that I “would be sorry if I didn’t get it for my wife.” Later she told me I was “cheap.” I finally relented.
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