Guanajuato City had been on Paul’s wish list for a long time – I had spent a day there when traveling with my daughter-in-law’s family (before she was my daughter-in-law) in about 1994 or 1995. So it was high time for the two of us to get there together and explore for a longer period of time.
We bussed to Guanajuato on the luxury bus line ETN, dozing, watching a movie, and reading for the six hour trip from México City. When we got to the bus station we grabbed a taxi to take us to our Air B & B apartment. Well, in Guanajuato’s Centro usually you can only be dropped off somewhere near your destination! The city is primarily a city of callejones, or pedestrian only streets, and most of these are quite steep or have stairs. Guanajuato is bowl shaped and it really is unique. In our case we had to trundle our luggage two normal blocks and two blocks straight up that were part stairs and part paving stones.
A dog must have stepped on the tile before it dried!
Our place was super well located and very comfortable. I was having a lot of trouble walking at the time (long story, don’t ask) so being so centrally located made it perfect for us. Our host was wonderful and we got hooked up right away with the local Cultura offerings and were able to attend a piano recital (in a space similar to Casa Haas in Mazatlán) and a symphony program in the Teatro Juárez.
On the way to our place
Our neighborhood near the San Francisco church had a street party the weekend we were there. Crammed into the small square in front of the church were children’s rides, bouncy rooms, and all the food vendors you could imagine. It was such fun. The photo at the top of the post was the papel picado they strung up ahead of the festivities.
Very atmospheric setting
Guanajuato (similar to so many other Méxican cities like Durango, Oaxaca, San Cristóbal de las Casas and Queretaro) has many pedestrian only streets. (Are you listening, Mazatlán?) It makes these streets such lively places to stroll, both day and night. They are real magnets for people – both locals and tourists.
Just a street scene with La Pipila in the background
We explored the city on foot a lot with frequent rests for my feet on the ample benches and public squares. We took a tourist bus tour. We skipped the mummies, and also unfortunately skipped the funicular because the line was too long. (my feet again, sigh)
Another block to our place
We found lots of the restaurants our friends had recommended. Cafe Tal has the most delicious coffee – be sure to take a couple kilos home with you. Delica Mitsu had wonderful Japanese food. La Vie en Rose was a fantastic French bakery and coffee shop. We ate twice at La Capellina for their excellent Italian food. We ate one night at La Trattoria with our table in the Juliet balcony overlooking the square. (location good/food not so much) After the symphony one night at around 11 pm we went for dinner at Casa Valadez along with all the movers and shakers of the city it seemed. We felt like we had a front row seat to the who’s who of Guanajuato as they greeted each other and table hopped around this incredibly disorganized restaurant with servers looking more at their iPads than at the customers. We had a great time.
We went to a few museums (the Casa Diego Rivera museum was good) and to the main mercado. The produce at the mercado was incredibly inexpensive.
We had a wonderful time there and would love to go back sometime now that my feet are nearly well and spend at least a month. It is a wonderful city, friendly and interesting.
So what’s going on here in Mazatlán, you ask?
Thousands of new palms are being planted along the malecon
The monigotes are up, teasing us that Carnaval will be here soon. You can see the beautifully redone Fisherman's Monument and the new sail-like cover over the basket ball court behind the monigote in this photo.
The houses on Angel Flores are even more photogenic than usual! Notice the new and improved balustrade?
An artsy picture of palm tree shadows
I hope you are all enjoying your winter! See you!