Antigua Guatemala is rich in preserved and authentically restored colonial architecture, replete with Moorish accents and some modern touches. Touch is one thing but concussion is another. Beware of the jutting low-slung colonial windows there or you’ll wind up with what’s known the Antigua Headache. Yolkobsens have sacrificed their soft pumpkins doing pioneering research on the deadly windows of Antigua and lived to tell the tale.
Thick walls on the original buildings give way to protruding, without warning, of the charming windows. These may seem like windows, but they are in fact, street-facing guillotines. The tricky part is these five to six inch deep windows, accented with ironwork, are set at different heights throughout Antigua.
Some you can see as you approach, that’s not a problem. About 30 percent of them are just at head depth. So if you are walking about the town taking in the volcano view or looking for the beautiful arc on the 5th avendida, which leads to the 18th century La Merced church, you won’t be looking for the kiss of death window.
Bang and bounce goes your noggin.
Your tourist map flies out of your hands as you reach to comfort your bruised skull and wounded dignity. Out of your head goes the thoughts of next day’s visit to the Mayan ruins in Tikal or the margarita you were planning for sunset at Cafe Sky while enjoying the breath-taking views of the the Fuego volcano standing sentry over the town. Thoughts turn instantly instead to ice pack and ibuprofen. Don’t let this happen to you.
Yokobsens tip: Develop a skill for panoramic looking you as you walk in Antigua. It’s a combination of swiveling head (normal tourist style) and eyes turning every few seconds to see the path ahead. You’ll enjoy the margarita and the view a lot more if you don’t have the Antigua Headache. As for the margarita headache, well, you’re on your own.