View From Cerro de la Cruz

Cross and Volcan Agua Over AntiguaTook an early morning walk up to see the view from Cerro de la Cruz (Cross on the Hill). The site provides a great vantage point for a panoramic shot of Antigua and the hike up makes for a nice bit of aerobic exercise, especially when you consider that Antigua, like Denver, is a mile-high city. I saw some people getting their morning off to a sweaty start by running up the hill. I was not similarly motivated. There have been reports of people being mugged on this trail. Now that would have motivated me.

Apparently the muggings were bad for business so now police are on duty from 9-5 (standard thieving business hours) but I really wanted the early light. Plus, it wouldn’t take long for clouds to move in and screw up the shot, and if it wasn’t clouds, it would have been tour buses. So I made sure to only carry what I could afford to lose and headed up. Fortunately, the bad guys had other priorities that morning and my experience was mug-free.

I like the symbolism of this photo, with the cross and Volcan Agua looming over the city. I played around with the composition while shooting it, first making the volcano dominant in the frame, then the cross. Which has had the biggest impact on the lives of the people here, the Church or the land? Tough call. I ended up going with the shot above, where they are relatively the same size. Considering the influence each has had on the region, both good and bad, I’d say they’ve earned equal billing.

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