Donnerstag, 30. Juni 2016

Welcome to my happy place! - Lago Atitlan

Through Petra we got in contact with José, a very lovely guy, from Guatemala city. Finally, after Monterrico we were able to meet him in Antigua. We had a fun night with him and his friend Joseph. Early in the morning we started our ride to the lake Atitlan. One of the most beautiful places in Guatemala. Like José says: "welcome to my happy place!" Luckily, we could stay with them in a beautiful house directly at the lake. The only way to get there was by taxi boat. What a paradise! The view was just incredible! And that's not all, beside of the beautiful house they have a Temazcal sauna next to the lake. Exactly what we love and definitively miss since we are travelling! So at night we enjoyed the hot sauna and a cold bath in the lake after, like at home.

The next day we went to San Marcos. A cute little hippie village with some hotels, cute restaurants and and a nice place to jump into the lake from about 6 meters. If you wanna go green, that's the place to go for.

Unfortunately, we only had the weekend together, so we already had to say goodbye to our new friends José and Joseph, who had to go back to Guate city. Thank you again guys for the lovely weekend we had a lot of fun!!

Since we all felt in love with this place we decided to go to San Pedro, another village at the lake, for two more days. San Pedro was definitively the right decision such a cute village with nice cafes, delicious restaurants, great street food, lovely people and some nice parties. Finally some electronic music again. :-) Exactly what we were looking for. As always the time with our friend Petra passed by too fast and she already had to go back to Switzerland. Good bye chica and thanks for visiting us, we enjoyed the time with you. 

We on the other hand couldn't say goodbye to San Pedro yet, so we are still here enjoying the lake, learning Spanish, reading and having fun... 

Finally, after two weeks in San Pedro we moved forward to Semuc Champey in Lanquin. As many people told us this must be the most beautiful place in Guatemala. So let's check it out!

View from the house!
San Marcos
San Pedro
San Pedro
San Pedro
Best hot chocolate ever in a cafe in San Pedro!
Our favorit café aka coffee producer.

Caution hot! - Monterrico

After our two days hike we definitively deserved some relaxing days at the beach. The beaches in Guatemala are all black, because of the volcanoes. Which was very special and very hot!! No way to get some sun on the sand or even walk in, it's just too caliente! Also the ocean was very rough with huge waves, that we couldn't swim. Not to bad for us since we had a nice pool to swim and relax in.

So we spent three days relaxing, reading, playing games and enjoying some ceviche at the beach.



Guatebuena! - Antigua Guatemala

Finally finally finally after 9 months we headed to the actual target of out travel. Central- and Southamerica! Took us quite a while, since we first planed to be there in January or February:-) Our first country in Central America should be Guatemala. Actually it was México with Tijuana, but that does not really count. ;-) We choosed Guate because a lot of other travellers told us it should be amazing. Let's find out!

We skiped Guatemala City since a lot of people, even Guatemaltecos told us that it's not really safe to go there and anyway a bit to busy for what we needed after so many crowded cities. So after our quite exhausting 26 hours! trip to Guatemala City we jumped into a cab and drove directly to Antigua! Was not so easy to find a hotel at 01.00am in sleepy Antigua. We found a nice stay and made friends with the crew there. Luckily, because one of the guys recommended the best restaurant in Antigua to us. The Rincon Tipico! if you ever go there! Simple and tipical Guatemalteco cuisine! Fantastic and cheap! We immediately felt thinking back to that simple and more adventurous travelfeeling. Finally no more rules everywhere, no more spending 50$ on a meal and most important... Hello again 1$ beers! :-) Or in one sentence:

"Welcome back my beloved freedom!"

Antigua is a fantastic little city. Like the name says, everything is quite old and a bit slow. The restaurants are occasionally some of the most beautiful we have ever seen and everything is a lot of hands on. Here the word "craftmansship" is really indicated. If you like old churches and stuff like that, it's paradise. We didn't wanna to a lot there, since a guy on the street asked us if we wanna do a Spanisch course. Why not we thought. And pam..! the next day we were living with a family from Antigua for the next 9 days! :-) Insted of doing nothing, the call was 5 hours of study a day. A little change. The stay with the family was very interesting. Quite a bit different than in Switzerland. :-) It was a coming and going of people from 06.00am to 09.00pm. We had a good time though and were forced to speak Spanish. A lovely experience.

After this 9 days with the family, the day when Petra (our friend from CH), should arrive, was finally there. We would spend the next 12 days together. It was very nice to see a known friend after so many months.

The first 3 days we relaxed and enjoyed the several markets, bars and restaurants. On day 4 we started a 2 day, one night hike to the third highest vulcano in Guatemala. Vulcano Acatenango with 3976m! Hiking vulcanos is quite popular in Guate, since they have 36 of them and a few are aktiv. :-) Like one of the most active ones in the world, that's called Pacaya. Where Nadia and I roasted sone marshmallows over lava the other day! ;-) But back to the hike. It's a nice and not too strenous hike from 1200m up to 3600m on the first day and the 376m more to the summit in the early morning of the second day. You don't wanna miss the sunrise. What makes the hike a bit a pain is, that you have to carry all the stuff by your own. Tent, sleeping bag, water and food and so on, but it's totally worth it! When you are lucky, like we were, you can see the nearby vulcano erupt! El vulcan de fuego, was very activ that day and we saw many awsome eruptions from our base camp. Absolutely overwhelming! The way to the summit in the morning at 04.00am is quite easy, because you go without baggage and it's only 376m. You will get payed with a marvellous sunrise above the clouds. Stunning! The problem on the top is the cold. The wind is fucking blowing and you we were freezing. Especially because one douche of a Asian girl attempted to the hike with, let's say inappropriate gear, and slowed down the whole group. So we had to wait for her at the summit and after 30 minutes we weren't able to move our fingers anymore! We were happy to go down to the fire at the base campe to warm up again. After breakfast we started the decline, which normally takes about 2,5 hours. Because of the before mentioned genius, it took us 5 hours! Unbelievable how stupid some people are!

Since we were a bit exhausted from all the hiking, we decided to go to the black beaches, on the pacific coast of Guatemala, to relax a bit.

Our home with the family!
On top of vulcan Pacaya
On the lava of vulcan Pacaya :-)
Marshmallow timeee...
Hiking up the vulcan Acatenango...
Base camp with great view to vulcan Fuego!
Vulcan Fuego erupting! 
Vulcan Fuego erupting! 
Best sunrise ever!!!

Mittwoch, 29. Juni 2016

It's up to you, New York - New York

After the amazing time in Denver we flew to New York city. The reason why we visited the big apple was definitively the wedding of a very special friend of Nadia. Edwin and Joey's wedding with a beautiful ceremony and an amazing wedding party. Everything was so gorgeous and we had a lot of fun! A night we will always remember. And it was so nice to meet all the people Nadia knows from Akris and of course to see Edwin again! Just a wonderful time.

But this was not all, beside of this special event we also met Nadia's parents again. They were flying over from Switzerland for a 10 day trip. Finally, after 9 months of travelling we were reunited!! What a feeling, just incredible! :-)

We had a great time in NY as well as in Brooklyn where we stayed in an Airbnb apartment. A very lovely apartment with a lot of space and a lovely host. Every day we were on the run for many hours, there is so much to see and to discover in this huge never sleeping city! We did all the tourist bus cruises, did a boat tour to the statue of liberty, visited the Whitney and Guggenheim museum, walked through the central park, went to Chinatown, Little Italy, walked the Brooklyn Bridge and visited the "High Line" in our favorite NY city district "Chelsea". Of course we went to many restaurants and had super delicious food.

After the 10 days we were very exhausted of all the long walks and the long hours in the subway, all the impressions and information. Unfortunately, the time was running very fast and we already had to say goodbye to my parents again! Another sad goodbye but not for so long. We will be reunited in August again, but then in the Caribbean, in Tortola!:-)

Goodbye New York, goodbye USA we had a wonderful time with lovely people and will definitively come again...

High line in Chelsea!
Edwin and Joey's Rehearsal dinner

Edwin and Joey's wedding :-)

Edwin and Joey's wedding
In the beautiful central park