Well...we just had visitors here and I need to catch up on my blogging! Here's the final installment of our Mexico trip last month...
All the descriptions of this town are right: it really is a riot of colorful buildings shoehorned into a canyon. And we got to stay on the rim with an amazing view!
The town itself felt much more like a real, functioning place after expat-heavy San Miguel, though there were plenty of domestic tourists a few doors down from our AirBnB at the Pípila statue. It commemorates when a miner (as opposed to a minor, though he might have been that too) nicknamed Pípila burned the door to a building in town holding a bunch of Spanish soldiers. Did I mention that was the beginning of the Mexican Revolution?
Anyhoo, it was quite a sight.
I took approximately 719 pictures of the view.
Guanajuato is built into a canyon and access from the rim is via winding walkways which were awesome to explore.
(The town wasn't actually deserted. Except at dawn.)
We did, in fact, do a few other things besides wandering around and taking pictures, like relax on a rooftop after working hard to finish a decently-sized ice cream cone.
We also enjoyed the Diego Rivera birthplace/museum as well as excellent food: carnitas in the huge Mercado Hidalgo, a tasty and fancy meal at El Campo, and perhaps the best meal with had in the country, which is certainly saying something, at Mestizo.
Another quirk of the city is that the citizenry built tunnels to contain the underground river, which then sunk further underground allowing the tunnels to be converted to walkways and roads. It felt like exploring a twisting dungeon.
Ok, one more cityscape pic:
After an early morning to catch a luxury bus to the big city...
...we rounded out our Mexican vacation with a trip to the neighborhood of Coyoacán to visit the Frida Kahlo house/museum, which was, like most stuff here, pretty darn impressive.
All in all, an amazing time was had in central Mexico. We'd head back in a heartbeat!
After the planes, trains, and automobiles of Mexico City, we were excited to experience some older forms of transportation in San Miguel de Allende.
We spent an awesome afternoon exploring nearby Coyote Canyon via the aptly named Coyote Canyon Adventures.
Our day began with a lunch on the cooperatively owned ranch where were served some of the most beautiful food we've had in a long time; much of the ingredients were grown on site, and the cheese was made that morning. Scrumptious!
Then we hopped on our steeds and headed out.
We all got to try our hand at galloping.
I also got to try out GoPro's editing software which kinda makes some things seem more epic than they really are...
The whole experience was quite amazing and something we wholeheartedly recommend.
Upon reflection, we decided that perhaps the pack animals were doing too much of the work, so our next trip out of the city was self-propelled.
We booked a bicycle tour with Bici-Burro, and started our journey at the train station. Our guide (and the awesome owner of the tour company) Alberto led us first to Old San Miguel, established in 1542.
We then explored deserty scrub which reminded us of California, con más nopales.
There was also a fun excursion along some swampy bits. Although the river was too flooded to ride along the path Alberto prefers, our detour led us to some beautiful scenery.
All in all, SMA was a great little town, which seemed almost unreal in its adorableness. We had a good balance of adventurous days and more mellow town-exploring and shopping days. The plethora of expats meant that there were plenty of interesting ways to spend our time... and money.
After bidding farewell to Warren’s sister’s family and the parentals in Mexico City, we headed up to San Miguel de Allende via luxury bus. SMA boasts beautiful architecture from the 17th and 18th centuries, a plethora of contemporary artists plying their trade, and Warren’s uncle and aunt! Phil and Pat are spending the winter there so it was a great chance to continue the family reunion whilst also continuing to consume the awesome food, culture, food, weather, and food of this fantabulous country.
Phil met us for a late meal and enchanted The Eldest with stories of old Mexico.
The next day we headed for the Tianguis market so Phil could give us a tour of all the tchotchkes. Instead he just introduced us to mamey, a fruit which he described as halfway between a banana and a sweet potato. Or was is a pineapple and a regular potato. Regardless, it tasted like chicken.
The town was as stunning as everyone said, with amazing views, great food, random celebrities, and a chill vibe.
One mellow visit we made in San Miguel was to the toy museum, which houses handmade fun from across the country.
We also had some adventurously active adventures in SMA, but to peek at those you'll have to wait until the next post...
We all had a ball celebrating the holidays with Warren's parents and sister's family in Mexico, starting with the eponymous city. I took 546 pictures during our five days in Mexico City. It's been quite a slog just getting through them all, but a fun slog. I've made some tough decisions and got it down to the top 419 to upload to this here blog.
We stayed across from Alameda park and the Palacio de Bellas Artes. A nice walk down Avenida Madera led us to the zócalo, a jaunt we enjoyed many times (along with millions of other people).
It's always great to give the cousins time to hang out together. And the grown-ups were pretty cool too!
But enough of that, you came here to see an unnecessarily large cache of CDMX pics!
The cathedral in the zócalo is kinda impressive
As I'm sure you know, Mexico City is built on a lake, which may not have been the smartest place to build one of the world's megacities. But one part of town still has its ancient Aztec-built canals: Xochimilco, which is almost as fun to explore as it is to attempt to pronounce. We had an absolute blast touring the twists and turns of this corner of the city, though the next day some of our intestines were twisting and turning as well, possibly from the food.
The whole thing made me think of my time at the Mekong River Delta floating market, though I don't remember a floating xylophone duet in Asia.
During our jaunt on the canals we visited a reptile house. The Little Lady was in her element, ready and willing to show her cousins her snake-wranglin' skills.
The next day most of us attempted to conquer the ancient city of Teotihuacan with a pit stop at Our Lady of Guadalupe. (Sarah and The Eldest lounged at hotel just because they didn't feel well.)
Before checking out the ruins of the Templo Mayor we managed to ice skate in Mexico City's zócalo. It was the first time for the cousins, so the twins showed them what's up. Unfortunately, we weren't allowed to take pictures during, but take a look at this bird's-eye view of the crazy double rink plus skinny connector trail-thingamajig:
And what trip to la Ciudad de México would be complete without visiting all the ancient artifacts at the Museo Nacional de Antropología?
We ate at Sanborn's House of Tiles before hitting the road to explore the state of Guanajuato, which you'll read all about in our next post.
A huge thank you to our family for traveling from California and Grand Cayman to hang out with us!