On our Panama Canal cruise in March, we stopped at the port of Puerto Ixtapa, Guatemala and from there we took a bus to Antigua. In Spanish, antigua means “ancient” – this historic city was founded in the early 16th century and spent 200 years as the colonial capital of Guatemala. Surrounded by volcanoes and earthquake prone, the city was largely destroyed in 1773 by an earthquake. However, many of its historic buildings were preserved as ruins.
We took a walking tour of downtown Antigua and were captivated by the charm of this small city, whose population is about 45,000 inhabitants. Here is a sampling of Antigua’s doors:
The sky is constantly changing as clouds move across it, rain falls from it, the sun rises and sets, and sometimes rainbows form. Rainbows are special because they are transient, especially double rainbows!
On our Dakotas trip in May,, Dale and I were returning to South Dakota after making a side trip to Devil’s Tower in Wyoming. Right after we finished a picnic dinner outside the park, it began to rain. We drove through several miles of rain, but then the clouds parted and the low late afternoon sun returned, forming rainbows and as an added treat, a gorgeous sunset!
Today we had tickets to see Museu do Amanhã (Museum of Tomorrow), which my sister-in-law had purchased online in advance. This would allow us to avoid long lines to pay admission and just go right in.
I was both impressed and disappointed by my experience at the museum. I was impressed by the way the information was presented and the educational quality of the information (plus the fact that much of it was available in English or Spanish as well as Portuguese, which made it a lot easier for my husband, who is monolingual, and for me because I didn’t have to translate everything for him).
I was disappointed by the fact that there really wasn’t anything futuristic or speculative. For example, the section on climate asks the viewer to think about what climate change is doing to our planet and how it affects or may affect them in the future, and presents the facts as they currently are about the issue, but it does not make projections about the future. I think it would have more impact if we could step into a mini virtual environment of the future where climate change can be felt.
This globe hanging above the waiting crowd’s heads changes to show different aspects of the Earth. We were waiting for admission to watch a video.
KODAK Digital Still Camera
KODAK Digital Still Camera
If you want to learn about a particular ecosystem, you can find it here. You can spend quite a bit of time reading the material available, but you need to pick and choose or you will never finish seeing everything! That is what happened to me. Exhibits are also presented in innovative ways using the latest interactive technologies.
The architecture was futuristic, simple and functional with sleek lines, in keeping with its theme and purpose, inside…
My neighbor, who is an avid gardener, was excited to show me something new in her garden: her prickly pear cactus has bloomed! Having lived in the desert, I know how special this is and that cactus flowers do not last long. Here it is in all its glory!
Here’s a wider view of the prickly pear cactus (it’s very hardy – it grows even here, in northern Illinois!)
On our first night in Rio de Janeiro, my (former) sister-in-law took us to the bar at the top of the Othon Palace Hotel in Copacabana. We sipped caipirinhas as we waited for the sunset. The views from up there were spectacular!
Welcome to a cidade maravilhosa! (“the marvelous city” – nickname for Rio de Janeiro)