Thursday, November 15, 2012


We move on …

Our next stop in our fast and furious tour of the Silver Cities/Colonial Cities is Guanajuato and we get there again by bus – our favourite mode of transportation - a 4hr ride. Once we arrived our taxi driver spoke excellent English and lived 8 years in Chicago. He returned to his home town because all he did in America was "go to work, go home, got work, etc and on Sunday washed clothes and shopped for groceries." Yup, he has it pegged right. The only difference is that some have to do it, others choose to do it.

Guanajuato, a colorful vibrant city set amongst the mountains,
 up and down the mountains


 every usable inch 

is a Historic/Colonial City (part of the Silver Cities designation) within a modern city with definite boundaries between the two. It is nestled in a river valley amongst the mountains with major silver mines being it's claim to fame. The most amazing thing to me is the history of the river. The river ran right through town in a tunnel and one year it flooded the tunnel and up into the town to the height of 8 feet. The residents of the city, being minors and innovative, decided to do something about it. They dug another tunnel below the first tunnel and rerouted the river, leaving the original tunnel dry. They now have a road tunnel system under the city with areas designated for parking. The river continues to run under the city in the 2nd, deeper tunnel with only minor flooding one time into the original tunnel to a depth of 3 feet that lasted only a few hours. 

As well as being the seat of the fight for independence in the early 1800s, it is also an university town. The town hosting 5 universities and close to 23000 students living here. They live, play and go to school within the historic part of town where our hotel/hostal is located. When we arrived at the hotel what a surprise we had waiting for us - not a room but an actual apartment/suite. Very bright and cosy and roomy.

 our bedroom

all for the price of a room with a bathroom!

But there is always a downside to everything -- and here was no different. Our bedroom wall was backing up to the backside of a bar/club that had live blasting music from 3pm to 3am at least. So we ended up moving to the honeymoon suite - all pink and fussy. 

Guanjuato is an university town and we were staying within the historical local which is also the university local. The liveliness and busy-ness of this environment was awesome. No matter where you would go there would be something happening. Free concerts in the plaza, 

free examples of the Tunas and their unique brand of dress and music, 
statues in every open space, 
cultural events,  Theater,
walkway and callejons,  and of course the churches on what seemed like every corner. 

This was also Don Quixote and Diego Rivera country.  
And then there was a tram to transport you up the mountainside to the statue of Father Miquel Hildago, the Father of Mexican Independence. (He torched the gates to allow entry)  
Imagine our surprise to find walking tacos: a little different than those we experienced on RAGBRAI. These ones had chips, large, local niblets of corn, a form of sour cream, white cheese, juice of one whole lime, nacho cheese, and chili pepper or any combinations of the a/m ingredients.  
And of course, the ever present Starbucks.

One evening we were walking through various small streets and came across a square that had dancing in it. The difference here is that they are all Tercera Edad (senior citizens) and boy could some of them move. Found out later that they actually had lessons every Friday night and that some were going to enter a dance competition in Mexico City in the new year. In the video, the couple on the right (black and white striped shirt): the woman has had a stroke and her partner had all the bouncy moves and no hesitation in dancing with her.