Thursday, August 25, 2011

0058: Memories Through Photography

I'm not sure about you but I love pictures and I love remembering moments and laughing at everyone's differing versions of what was going on when the picture was taken - it's all good and it feeds the soul. 

So why is it that 98% of my pictures reside in my computer? I'm not sure.... But I do have them all synced with my laptop, iPhone, iPad, iPod and desktop :-) When I wrote about the El Salvador Volcanoes (0052) it prompted me to pull up that trip's pictures and with it some sweet memories. Come along as I take you through Mr Roger's neighborhood - just kidding... though some of the 'local' areas of this little country. A country whose beauty is often overshadowed by stories of poverty and danger (which exist but the pueblos and countryside were like stepping back in time when life was simpler. Some can argue that these 'poor' people are wealthier than most...). Embarrassingly, even I had let myself get caught up in the stereotype but I was instantly charmed and won over by the brightness and cleanliness of the pueblos and the warmth of every person we came into contact with. I truly experienced the heart of this country...  
Yes, she travels with me :-) A family friend's countryside home... this was a garden prop, we weren't traveling via horse-drawn carts :-) although that could've been cool!! 
Stairway at the Boqueron Park (the volcano). The park was closing so we begged and were let in last minute. We were the only people there. It was so serene... Being surrounded by nature and these rustic additions was simply beautiful. 
Coatepeque Lake from above, sweaters were definitely at hand because of the elevation
but the cool air just added to the laughter and energy of the trip. My family was fantastic, they patiently showed me a country I didn't know and reminded my mother of places she hadn't seen in decades.  
Coffee is a huge product of ES; I'd never seen the actual plant...
cool right? 
A garden at one of the mountain restaurants we went to - this fountain was in memory of the owner's little girl who passed away, it was sad and sweet. This angel made them feel as though she was always home. The grounds were gorgeous, they even had an awesome tree house - in the background - the food was amazing. 
The entrance to the hacienda turned restaurant... The cool thing about this kind of home is that they all open to an interior garden/courtyard with covered walkways where the rooms are around the perimeter. I loved that all rooms opened to a common outdoor living room/garden area. These covered walkways are pretty spacious and it is very common to have hammock hooks hanging for when you just want to sway the day away.... 
Back to our friend's home... they had an amazing outdoor kitchen - taking the BBQ concept to a serious level!!  It was like an entire second kitchen but with a gigantic brick oven/grill, fruit was hung until ripe and cooking tools sat ready for the next feast. It felt staged but it was very much part of every day life. 
Las Brumas, another home turned restaurant. Although a smaller courtyard, it was so serene and pretty. The food was fabulous but the view was heavenly....
Las Brumas - view of the valley and sunset. The air was crisp and filled with laughter, my belly was full and I had a nice red wine in hand - life could barely get better. And although you can't see it, the backyard was tiered along the mountain with garden levels then acres of untouched land.
Need a hat?? Then head to the market ("mercado")...
I don't think they will be running out anytime soon :-)
A typical pueblo-style home, with an interior courtyard... I became obsessed with these courtyards. Everyone is done so differently; each was like a secret garden. Well, secret to everyone but the family...   
Almost all commercial establishments in Ataco were brightly painted.
This was a sweet cafe and next door was a handmade craft store... 
An internet cafe - rare but they still exist... 
Office buildings were also sweet. The architecture had such a 'yesterday' feel to it. This street made me feel like I was on the set of an old western movie,
I loved it!!
Even buildings that were in need of repair retained their charm and vibrancy. 
Well, I hope you enjoyed this little trip as much as I have enjoyed writing about it. And if you are ever interested in going and don't know where to start... feel free to email me ( I'm no travel agent but I can recommend first-hand insights and specifics so that your experience is as amazing as mine was. 

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