Thursday, November 15, 2012

Touring Morelia & surrounding areas

The next 2 days of our time in Morelia was spent on organized tours, one of Morelia and then one out in the campo. We were fortunate in that we were only 4 the first day and just ourselves the following day. 

Morelia Tour group with guide

Some of the things that we saw on the tour of Morelia we had already experienced on our own walking tours the previous couple of days. But we also saw things that we wanted to see but as yet, hadn’t seen.

*Took a driving tour up into the hills around Morelia to the mirador where we could see the town as it is nestled in the "mountains". The area around the mirador has built up in a little more than 2 years to a very modern, expensive town that is autonomous from Morelia, yet is within the boundaries of.
 a cloudy day still.

*Revisited with a running commentary, the aqueduct which no longer functions but remains an impressive sight at one end of the Historical Centre on the Camina Real… 
the end of the aqueduct in town ...

~as well as along the pedestrian walkway to the aqueduct
    houses also got into the event in a big way

~at one end of the Pedestrian walkway there is a small park dedicated to the mayan people with replicas of their great works

*found the callejón del romance, where women would sit while the men would saunter past, hoping to meet the love of their life and ultimately wed ...

 a very short alley actually

 success plaque

 betrothal fountain

 people are still living in the houses lining the alley

It is amazing how much one can learn from a tour guide, even after reading your guide book. They are a world of knowledge. In Mexico it appears that, to become an official tour guide, one must go to school, learning not only the history but also the flora and fauna of the country and continue to keep abreast of current affairs and developments. 

At times the sun came out during our tour and I vacillated between jacket on/jacket off. The nice thing about that however was that we had nice hot water when we returned to the hotel, instead of the rather tepid morning shower water. YEAH!!!!!!!!

The next day we were picked  up once again by Lorenzo and we headed out of town. We chose initially to do the historical tour but Lorenzo put his head to the task and we ended up with a little of everything.

~ an opportune stop at a campo cemetery to see how they do El Día de los Muertos.

oddly enough, they also carve pumpkins
Bumping down a quaint off-highway road, through what could only be described as the wooden furniture capital of the world, we come to a very old church (what else?). But this time we get the history and small trivia along with the tour. As well, Danny is introduced to some more Michoacán native food as well.

very reminiscent of the old mission churches
... then a stop at a finch overlooking a very impressive valley but first a ride over a dirt road filled with more potholes than road space. Met by an eternal, stand-alone mariachi band...

  the garden is full of various art but he is my favorite

Then the chair manufacturing capital of Michoacán:

Then on to the city of Santa Clara de cubre - yes the copper capital yet there is no copper left in the surrounding mountains. What they use or re-use is the old copper wiring and pipes that they actually receive from the governmental agencies. Here we did buy a souvenir... a basket to be used as a bread basket and a small frying pan to be used to fry eggs in. (Clean with lemon juice and salt por favor)
 the city monument. Yes  copper tub

took a tour of how they make copper things
 Danny trying to show his strength

 not as easy as it looks
And yes, all copper:

And yes the churches, but this time gilded in copper:

Walking along a road, do not be surprised to see alternative forms of transportation. When this man saw my camera, he stopped and posed without being asked. I swear, he did!

Then on to the lake and Patzcuaro, another historical, colonial town. This one taken over by the artisans  

The travel back to the city was uneventful and tomorrow is another day ....