It is already over and I am back in Mexico City. But the weather is stunning, the sky is cobalt blue and the birds, yes, the birds are tweeting seductively as if flirting with me.
But for the past 8 days I was in the stunningly beautiful towns of Guanajuato and San Miguel de Allende. As a lovely treat, my mom flew down from Oregon to be my co-explorer. We headed out on Saturday on a great bus (Primera Plus) and five hours later arrived at the hill top, next to the magnificent statue of Pipila (an indigenous Mexican revolutionary) overlooking the vibrant colors of Guanajuato.
Our great AirBnB owner, Dermot, met us and we walked down the numerous steps to our perch 3/4 up the hill overlooking the city. Our place was sweet and decked out in color. We spent the early evening getting acquainted with this lively town. Wandering down our path to the town we found the tunnels that criss-cross underneath us, beautifully lined with intricate rock walls. These underground roads are kilometers long, twisting and turning. At one point during our wandering days we walked all the way through one – from one side of the mountain to the other (I say mountain with a bit of chortle).
On nearly every turn the city produced such enticing prospects. The curves were sensuous, lively colors, iron balconies, pots over flowing with flowers and lots and lots of rocks work.
Then there were the churches. We counted 8, but I think there were two or three more that we didn’t actually see, but we heard them.
Guanajuato is not a large town. It has about 170,000 people. There is a gorgeous theater and the main square which is a garden of manicured ficus trees (or something that looks really similar), is surrounded by fun eateries with lots of wandering bands.
And for some reason they love Cervantes and his story about Don Quixote. They have a festival in October dedicated to Cervantes and there are at least a half dozen sculptures of Don Quixote dotted throughout the downtown and just about every street artist had done something with the story.
Guanajuato was full of great restaurants, music every night, twists and turns to delight the eyes and happy, smiling people. The weather was crispy in the mornings, toasty by afternoon and a couple nights we had midnight deluges. Perfect.
But on day four we headed off on another bus to San Miguel de Allende and our AirBnB on the outskirts of town. If you want anything of reasonable price in town, book early. This place is popular!
Home to 140,000 residents, with about 10,000 expats calling it home. It is beautiful. Full of cobble stone streets, lots of boutiques and artistry, both local and from other parts of Mexico. Lots of churches and a beautiful central plaza. And yes, hills. Thanks to our iPhone apps, we concluded that we averaged 5.5 miles of walking per day – and I must say much of it was uphill.
La Parroquia de San Miguel Arcángel is the focal point of the town. It’s neo-gothic facade was built over the original church (built in the 17oo’s) in the 1880’s. It is quite stunning.
As it was Holy Week (Semana Santa) there were lots of activities centered around the churches. We saw many gigantic plaster-of-paris people dancing in the streets and then of course the parades on Good Friday.
It is no wonder why expats are enjoying San Miguel de Allende in great quantities, it is beautiful. The architecture, the weather, the art, the classes offered (at the Instituto)… the energy was lively and happy.
Now, back to teaching. Only ten more weeks of school. I can’t believe how fast it has gone.