Wednesday, 17 April 2013

San Miguel (Day 8): Guanajuato

Word of the Day: Buen Viaje (Bwhen Bee-ya-hay)
                            Good travels or trip OR Have a nice trip

Always a nice walk up and through San Miguel. We started walking, hoping to find 2 things. First, a bank machine and next and much more important, a spot for a quick coffee and a muffin for breakfast. Didn't find either on the route we took, but did find 2 other interesting things:

First, this very LARGE dog just sitting on the window
ledge, gazing out at his kingdom....
 
Secondly, this pretty cool sign, three dimensional with the heart....
 
Casa Corazon, House of the Heart

Since we found neither of our "things" we just kept walking to the bus station. Wow - even a 1st Class fancy coach, Primera Plus. We have seen these all over Mexico.(No, Bob and Danna, this is NOT the one we go to Guadalajara in!!). It takes about 1 hour and 10 minutes to get to Guanajuato. Guanajuato is a city built down into a narrow valley. Imagine the very bottom, that is where the Historical Centro District is. When traversing this city, there are tunnels everywhere. They built the tunnels so cars could get around easier. There are also many, many alleyways, too narrow for cars. And the stairs... Oh my!!! The city was named a World Heritage Site in 1988.  

First, our "pimped" ride there....
(So nice for Doug not to have to drive!!!)
 
We took the regular city bus from the main bus station. It cost us $8 ps each (68 cents each) It's a great way to see your way around a place. Although this is a very narrow and twisty city so I think it would take a number of days to figure out where you were!! First order of business was to find breakfast!!
 
 Peace Plaza



 We think this will do nicely!!



 Basilica of Our Lady of Guanajuato. It was right
 across the street, but was having work done to it...

 Doug "photo-bombs" a statue!!
 
For those not familiar with the term photo-bomb, it is where a person (...like Doug) sneaks into another person's picture, usually from the back, and they don't know it. He has tried this a few times here in Mexico. Sometimes it is met with laughter and other times....well, not so much!! Anyway, this guy didn't seem to mind!!
 
 
 Beautiful walking mall area...
 
 Juarez Theatre - very beautiful...

 
 Then we took a ride up the funicular. It is a gondola type structure, connecting one high part of the city to another. It costs $15 ps per person ($1.28 Cdn), each way but saves you a potential heart attack in the heat trying to get up there!! Just for the record, it was about 90 degrees today (30 C). Seems lots of locals use it too. The slope is 43%!! But, this is where you get the most amazing photos of Guanajuato. Just check these out.

 Looking back down to where we just left from... 

 
 
 That really green clump of trees in the middle is the "tree-lined" plaza I talk about later...

 The big mustard coloured church in the centre of this picture is the Basilica of Our Lady of Guanajuato, the one right across the street from where we had breakfast...

 So amazing to see all the different coloured houses.
Guanajuato is pretty famous for them.



 This was, basically, right behind us, on the other side of the hill. Notice all the
stairs heading up to those houses? Can you imagine, in 90 degree heat,
carrying your groceries up there??

 When what do we see....a busy little donkey, working hard!!

 I am sure he was wondering why he got this gig, instead of the one of flat land??!! 

 Yup, the little dogs were wondering the same thing!

 Doug, standing inside one of the many tunnels!!
See the car headlights, way behind him?

 

 Stunning hotel on the little tree lined plaza. Beautiful chandelier...

 ...and said tree-lined plaza....

Proof that you can make art anywhere. Even in a little
carved out niche in a wall.... 

 Hopefully, looking at some of these pictures, you get the idea of how
steep these neighbourhoods are and how narrow!!

 Yes, the city bus we took from the station drove down these streets!!

 There is an area called in town called Callejon del Beso, which means Alley of the Kiss or Kiss Alley. One of the sets of balconies are only 27 inches across the "alley" from each other. Apparently, it has a history like Romeo and Juliet. Tragic young lovers. This, unfortunately, is not it, but we thought this one was pretty narrow too!
We will find the real one next time...  









Time for paletas and then WAY up to the Mummy Museum...
 
 I think this is one of my favourite pictures of the day.
Love that pink house, just hanging onto the hillside!

 Okay, so here come the stairs. Just some of them....

 ...and a few more...

 Keep going...
 
...and going. There were hundreds of stairs. Unbelievable!!
 
The Mueso de las Momias was very interesting. Apparently, there is something in the mineral content in Guanajuato's soil that lends itself a perfect mummification process. Some of them were actually buried in the early 1940's and were unearthed in the late 1940's and were already all dried up. But, many were way older than that. Pretty weird to see, but still interesting. I did not pay the extra fee that would have allowed me to take pictures.I got this picture from the internet so you could get the idea:
 
 
 
Anyway, after all that, it was time to head back to the main bus station. We had a great taxi driver who, when we told him we were from Canada, he said "Oh Canada, eh..." We all laughed our heads off - no pun intended from the Mummy museum either!!
 
 Snazzy bus station......

Handy guy with a plate load of churros on his head - Love that ability to balance!!
 
That's it. Was a pretty hectic day, but a great, enjoyable day. So MUCH to see in Guanajuato. We will definitely go back there too!!  How did you all like those stairs? Tired now??
 
Thursday (tomorrow) we head back to Valle de Juarez. Our friends, Bob and Danna arrive on Sunday and we are pretty excited to see them!!
 
Thanks for coming along with us - we always enjoy the company of family and friends!!
 
Cheers friends!!

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