Famous and exciting
colonial towns are to the north of Guadalajara so we took ten days to visit
them. Our trip through the
Sierra in Central Mexico brought us through 4
Mexican States: Jalisco, Zacatecas, Aguas Caliente and Guanajuato.
Leaving the Guadalajara bus
terminal this time on a 1st class Ejectivo Bus with movies, comfortable
reclining seats and refreshments made for a hassle-free journey to our
first stop, Zacatacas.
A fine first class bus to take
us to Zacatecas
320 Pesos each
bought us tickets from Guadalajara directly to the illustrious colonial
city of Zacatecas. Leaving at 9 a.m., we arrived at our destination
5 hours later.
Fields of blue agave cactus
Just north west
of Guadalajara is the town you've all heard of,
fields are filled with the bluish agave cactus plants used in the
production of this notable beverage bearing the same name as the
Rooftop view of Zacatecas from
40 Pesos for a
taxi took us to Hostal Colonial, centrally located in the city of
Zacatecas. We paid 250 Pesos for a decent doubles room with private
bath, cable TV, wifi and use of kitchen. The attractive upstairs
terrace gave us this spectacular view of the main Cathedral. A small
kitchen is on this floor as well. Downstairs there was a sitting room and
access to a full book exchange.
Not bad, hmmm?
A massive and panoramic view
of the city of Zacatecas
Taking the 27
Peso Teleferico ride to Cerro de la Bufa's summit will give
you a full view of Zacatecas city. At almost 8,000 feet in elevation,
the weather is much cooler than what we
are used to in
Very attractive pink stone
known as 'la ciudad de cantera rosa' or 'the city made of
pink stone'. These rose colored stones make the town's architecture
most unique and eye catching.
Jeres, a very traditional
After 3 days, we
moved on to
the much smaller and more manageable city of Jerez. A surprisingly delightful country town, Jerez is about as traditionally Mexican as it gets.
continuously impressed at the friendliness of the natives as well as
the pride they took in Mexico's customs. Here artisans make the
embroidered piteado belts coveted by traditional Latino men
all over the world. The art of piteado dates to the last decade of
the 19th Century, and a good quality genuine piteado belt
can easily cost several hundred dollars.
El Jardin's wonderful location
Our hotel, El
located right on the main plaza, had a lovely restaurant with
excellent food. Here we are taking a
lunch break, catching up on email and looking through our guide book
for places of interest.
Looking out the front window
of our city bus
One of the things
we enjoy doing in a new city or town, is to simply hop on a local bus
or two and ride through
its entire route. We see people and places that otherwise we would
have missed and this costs a fraction of the price of a scheduled tour. Of course
we have no idea where the bus is headed but that's all part of the
adventure. And, it gives us a sense of the whole town and how it's
Akaisha next to a bronze
After a couple of
days in Jerez we
made our way to Guanajuato where Akaisha found a friend.
charming, with art, theater, cafes and bronze statues everywhere.
architecture is throughout the city, with beautifully decorated
Plazas. All of this is within easy walking distance of everything
you might need or want.
Free tickets for
performances were being given out to people on the street so the
theaters would be filled. We also enjoyed a free orchestra concert
in the stylish plaza in front of this theater.
Outdoor cafes line the plaza
One of the many
Plazas in Guanajuato. This plaza is in front of Teatro Juarez and is
where the orchestra played that afternoon.
These appealing places
are perfect to sit and people-watch, listen to music in the central
gazebo, or have lunch in the many cafes that line the square.
Letting off a
little hot air!
Led by the local
fire department, these guys were driving through the street promoting
the hot air balloon festival that weekend. The heat from this burner
could be felt 50 meters away.
Beautiful view of the
cathedral and city of Guanajuato
We spent 15 Pesos
per person each way to go up the Funicular Panoramico to see
the monument to Pipilo.
Pipilo is a
revered revolution martyr who tied a stone slab on his back
protecting him from Spanish bullets and crawled to the grain-holding
building they were occupying during the Mexican Revolution. He set
fire to the gates and while the Spaniards choked on smoke, the
rebels moved in to take this military stronghold.
What a view of
the city from this monument location!
Portales in San Miguel de
For us, ten days
is not a lot of time for a journey. We were pressed to make only a
day visit to the famous city of San Miguel de Allende, which is
considered a Mexican playground for foreign retirees. Regular
festivals, fireworks and parades dominate activities here.
The cobblestone streets of San
Miguel de Allende
itself is tidy with cobblestone streets and colonial architecture.
However, economically, this is no budget destination with prices far
above what we found in the other cities on our trip. Fancy shops,
sassy B&B's and cosmopolitan restaurants will beckon for your
dinero. The temptation and attraction is strong, so it will take
discipline not to spend.
The well-known cathedral of
San Miguel de Allende
again the lovely pink stone so amply used in these parts, this time
for the cathedral in the main square.
Arches, cafes and
churches were abundant in San Miguel de Allende,
but time was a constriction and we needed to head back to
our current home town in the state of Jalisco, Mexico.