On the morning of our second day in this beautiful colonial town, I woke at 2:00am, quietly dressed and crept out onto the dark and desolate streets of Antigua. The procession from La Merced was scheduled to depart at 3:00am and this was an opportunity I did not want to pass up. I was a bit uneasy at first, but as I approached the Parque Central, I encountered dozens of groups laying out their alfombras and crowds of spectators also on their way to the church.

Semana Santa in Antigua

Semana Santa in Antigua

Semana Santa in Antigua

Semana Santa in Antigua

Semana Santa in Antigua

Semana Santa in Antigua

Once I arrived at La Merced, I was glad I had made the effort. The solemn procession was awe inspiring and brought tears to my eyes.

La Merced Antigua

La Merced Antigua 

La Merced Antigua

La Merced Antigua

La Merced Antigua

Returning to the hotel at 5:00am, I crawled back into bed for a bit more sleep before venturing back out to watch more of the festivities. A few hours later rested and ready to go, we decided to try out the well known "Rainbow Cafe" for brunch. This place is popular all day and all night with a mediterranean influenced menu, lots of vegetarian options, a full bar, live music in the evenings, a great booktore, full service travel agency and even a lecture series. We enjoyed a very nice meal and hit the cobblestones for more sightseeing and a trip to the Artesans Mercado.

Rainbow Cafe Antigua

San Jose El Viejo

Antigua Guatemala

Antigua Guatemala

Artesans Mercado Antigua

Artesans Mercado Antigua

Artesans Mercado Antigua

The Mercado was amazing but overwhelming. After a few purchases, we headed back toward La Merced, indending to catch the tail end of the day's procession. While I really wanted Rob and the kids to see this amazing event......

Antigua Guatemala

Antigua Guatemala

Antigua Guatemala

El Arco Santa Catalina Antigua

....somehow, we wound up at Reilly's Irish Tavern, perhaps one of the best bars I have ever been in. Great atmosphere, strong drinks, attentive staff and awesome music. What more could you want!

Reilly's Irish Tavern Antigua

Reilly's Irish Tavern Antigua

And this is about the time, dear reader, your narrator checks out for the day. Lack of sleep and several Botran Anejos got the best of me. We ate a quick dinner and headed back to Las Farolas where I slept like the dead. Big day planned for tomorrow. Stay tuned!!

Go to Day 6 - Pacaya Volcano