Saturday, 11 May 2013

Guadalajara (Day 2)

Word of the day:  Sandia (San-dee-a)

Did anyone notice something strange on my last picture yesterday, with the bike tour people?? Did any of you see the alien in the photo?? Go back and check him out!!!


My bad for not wishing all Mexican mothers a very Happy Mothers Day, yesterday. Mexico celebrated it's mommies, this year, on Friday, May 10th. The kids actually stay home from school (what ??!!) so their moms don't have to rush around in the morning to get them going. I guess it's like a national gift to all mommies here!! Anyway, happy day to you all!!

We really like Guadalajara. Now, we aren't fooling anyone that we know much about the city because we don't. We only know this area that we have visited. I am sure there is SO much more to see but we only have so much time. This will have to do. What I notice is that there are SO many people out walking around. We, as Canadians, are in the absolute minority. I love coming to these cities and seeing Mexicans out enjoying all their cities have to offer. It's the way it should be!! People, no matter where you live....get out there and enjoy ALL your city has to offer. Find out about it. Do some research and history. Tell people about it!!!

Just a little tidbit about our hotel room - they will NEVER loose the remote for the television. Check this out. It's in the wall!!
Such a great hotel. Hotel Frances was built in 1610. It was designated a National Monument at it's re-opening in 1981, after it's renovations by the Oliveros family. It is the oldest hotel in Gaudalajara!! If you stay in Guadalajara, you really should stay here!!
 But, sometimes you still find clowns in the hallways....

Outside our door....

We headed out down the walking mall and went to a nice restaurant about 3 blocks away. For a while, we were the only  ones in this grand restaurant. It used to be a home, owned by the De la Torre family and then became a government building, then a school and now this restaurant.... 

By early afternoon, there were LOTS of people out, enjoying the day...
After breakfast, it was a trip across the street from our hotel to the Palacio de Gobierno.  I don't know why but I am just fascinated by being in a building that is nearly 100 years older than Canada!! This was completed in around 1790. In 1730 the then governor got permission to dedicate part of the taxes from the sale of what was then called "mescal wine" to repair the original building, but because there was so much money, they decided to start a whole new one...I know, pretty cool stuff!! I did pictures before in March when we were here, but I will bore you with a few more:
Doug, on the grand staircase with part of the fresco mural depicting the
father of the Mexican Revolution, Miguel Hidalgo above him.
Pretty hard to depict the scale of this mural!! 

 The mural depicts all the struggles that Mexican's have had,
gaining their independence from Spain...

 The congress gallery. Bet lots of rules are decided here!!

 Interior courtyard...


Small central fountain area. See all the spigets where the water would have come out? It was a small courtyard within the big palace. Maybe a working area? Maybe a family area. Extra safe as it was way inside the palace...
Not safe enough to avoid the famous Beglaw foot shot though!!

 Beside another courtyard. I wonder where this door may have led to?
Was it an emergency escape?? 

Mostly though, I wonder who built it? How long did it take? How hard those,no doubt,
calloused hands, had to work. So many questions. Guess that is what travel is for,
to make you ask questions of things...
As we were walking through the palace, there was a young lady, named Diana, who was having pictures taken for her Quinceañera party.
"Quinceañera, sometimes called fiesta de quince años, fiesta de quinceañera, quince años or simply quince, is the celebration of a girl's fifteenth birthday in parts of latin America and elsewhere in communities of people from Latin America. This birthday is celebrated differently from any other birthday, as it marks the transition from childhood to young womanhood."
Pretty fancy stuff anyway!! 

What a beautiful young lady....

 I thought this was a great angle!!
Tired yet?? After this it was off to the H-U-G-E market. It is way at the other end of that big walking mall I keep showing you pictures of. It is almost overwhelming in it's size. Much bigger than the international market in Mazatlan, we think. I never got a picture of the outside of it because I am not sure how to even to do, but here are some of the shots from around it...

 This is just the restaurant area...

 Outdoor area with just birds - I am not sure WHY some of them are even
in cages as they are wild birds, like pigeons!!!

 And this is the bee section. there are all these candy vendors on the outside and this sugar cane candy attracts bees like crazy. I tried to get a picture, without getting stung. If you look closely you will see some of the bees......YIKES!!! There were thousands of them!!

 Neat fruit at the fruit vendor called prickly pears, the fruit of the Nopal cactus.
(Post script: Thanks to Barb Contreras for advising me!!)

 Doug buys 2 small containers of fresh watermelon and mango, all cut up.

Of course, it wouldn't be a visit without the "magic floating monk". Apparently, that
big metal bar under his umbrella goes up his sleeve and he is sitting on the little platform. Like a sideways "U". Sorry to ruin it for all you who thought he was REALLY floating!! But hey, a guy has to make a living, right?!!
Saturday afternoon and traffic is pretty busy outside our hotel!!
Dinner tonight was at La Fonda de San Miguel Arcangel. This was an old convent. Many of the nuns had nothing to do with the outside world, at all. It is a restaurant and art gallery area. Pretty nice setting. Danna and I had disappointing dinners that had to both be sent back and were returned, microwaved....oh well. On the other hand, Bob had molcajete with chicken and Doug had molcajete with fish and shrimp. Theirs looked really yummy. The manager was sorry for the problems and sent over a round of nice tequila and some sangrita (which is that drink they use with the vampiros. Spicy, orangey, and tomato, all at the same time). It was nice enough of him. We will let it go at that. 

 The setting is really pretty....

 Danna and I decided that we would just order whatever Doug and Bob order next time!!
Oh well, not every meal can be a homerun, right?!
Walked back so we could do our ride on the horse drawn carriage. On the way we passed the beautiful church, right around the corner from us.
Just spectacular!!! And so many people out in the square as evening falls!!
This photo is for our friend, Paula in Nova Scotia. We remember how much Paula
LOVES her ribbons!!! Feast your eyes, friend!!
So, finally, we picked out our carriage. Miguel Angel and Muchacho will take us for a 1 hour ride for $300 ps ($25.50 Cdn) We thought it was good value for our money. So enjoyable. Clip clopping along. Really allows you time to enjoy the scenery...
Our snazzy, pimped up ride....

 Our snazzy, pimped up companions!!

Pretty sure that if the driver fell asleep or fell off, the horse would just bring us back to the starting point!! But, they are very relaxed to clop alongside all the cars!!

 Many thanks Miguel Angel and Muchacho.
It was a very enjoyable end to our great day!!
Well, that wraps up another day in Guadalajara. We loved it and we hope our buddies, Bob and Danna did too. stay tuned for tomorrow!! We do the bus tours again. All four loops this time!!
Cheers friends!!


  1. Estoy en el cielo de la liston!!! I was just showing one of my good friends all my ribbon yesterday. What a timely photo! I'm in ribbon store withdrawal!

    1. We think of you every time we see ribbons now!!

  2. Great Pictures, great times. You have seen more than Sal and I by far. Time for us to be tourists....Those fruits are prickly pears, the fruit of the Nopal cactus. Love ya's.

    1. Thanks for the info on the fruit. Couldn't for the life of me, remember what it was!! Miss you guys!!

  3. Thanks for posting is so interesting! Wonderful pictures to go along with your writing. I am glad you are still down in Mexico, everyone else seems to have already headed back north. I am always curious about much is the Hotel Francis? It looks like a nice little place in the heart of things. Keep up the informative, interesting and good writing!

    1. Michael - Thank you SO much for the kind words. I am glad you enjoy the stories!! The Hotel Frances cost us about $650 pesos (about $56 Cdn) for a regular room. We think it's a great deal, especially considering where you are, right in the middle of everything!!

      Thanks again for riding along!!