Subject: Antigua, Guatemala.
WE went on business to Antigua , had a great time. Stayed at La Posada del Angel an interesting mixture of bed and breakfast and small boutique hotel that charges more than any other after President Clinton stayed there.(150 $) There are only five rooms in this place, and I understood that of course when Clinton stayed there, they took the whole little place plus Heavens knows how many other buildings surrounding the Posada.

The taste of the decorator- owner, an American lady , is exquisite. The service is outstanding and it is a place were even if you do not wish to socialize you meet charming fellow travelers. We did meet, I traveled with my daughter, a charming lady with her 19 year old son from California, and a very friendly couple from Lausanne and oher interesting persons including some locals. It was a very nice experience all together. Their web site is www.posadadelangel.com The small , tiny city is charming and lovely.Little beautiful hotels abound,some with only 3, 6 or 8 rooms... including one much larger than the others, similar to a Spanish Parador, built in the ruins of a XVII century Dominican Convent .This is the Hotel Casa Santo Domingo which has two museums in its premises and is beautifully decorated with old wooden carved statues and beautiful big, big flower arrangements and plants.

Antiguenos are extremely charming and polite !!! Guatemalan food was a good surprise, and we indulged in some local fare,- and also went to several restaurants with Italian, International, and Pacific Rim food. Breakfast included in the rate of the posada was very good mainly because of the abundant and deliciously ripe fruits. Every morning we indulged in papaya, pineapple,etc.

I have the hunch that taxis have a different rate for locals and tourists,.... they have kind of fixed rate for us, no matter how close you go,depending of the taxi they charge, 2.50 to 3.50 dollars that is very cheap away. To go and to come to the airport there is a fix rate for tourists of 30 dollars p/car in the car the hotel gets you,..... it is possible to go for less, let us say for $20 in a regular taxi, but we didn't think it was worth it, considering the airport is 45 kms away, and although the general feeling is of peace and that nothing is going on, there are kidnappings, shootings, etc. and other nasty things going on.

Local architecture in the form of colonial houses is a delight and also the ruins of the many convents built by the Spaniards are impresive. As you know the recent canonization of Padre Pedro has put the lime light in the Convent of San Francisco where he lays in his tomb.

There are many things to do, we unfortunatelly had to focus in our business and could not take dayly trips, except we went one morning to the market in Chichitinango. Neither we had time to do any kind of shopping which is a pitty because there are charming little shops for many local items...they have a flair for colors and designs.

Again people are absolutely charming and kind and sweet, it is a lovely destination and I hope to be back there soon. As Rosmary says they need a lot of help, apparently there are endless problems Graziella Miami Beach