Thursday, February 18, 2016

Semana de Nueve Guanajuato Guadalajara and Puerto Vallarta

February 2016 - Mexico



We headed out for a warm inviting breakfast in a square in the sun. Breakfast is included at the hotel with a set menu of 4 items. It is good that it is included because of the 3 mornings we ate there the menu should have read “stone cold food served by stony faced servers in an ice cold room”. These had to be the worst servers we have ever had in Mexico, no smiles, and everything was an effort to them. When told that the bacon was cold he simply shrugged and walked away.

In all we end up walking more that 11,000 steps.

But first we walked up a laneway by the theatre and discovered that this is the way you could walk down from La Pilia.

Then we came across yet another tribute to Don Quixote in the lane by the church. Up along a different street and then climbed up to Plaza La Paz.

Breakfast outside with the sun shining down on us, we quickly discarded our sweaters. HOT coffee!!

While having breakfast we watched this woman with a vivid green lizard on her arm, it then came to rest on top of her hair.

A large group of Asian tourists descended on us loaded down with photographic paraphernalia. I know we are bad but...

From there we walked up higher and debated our alternatives and settled on going to the Primer Deposito Museo de Arte where there are more Leonora Carrington sculptures on display. Tiny lovely gallery and you could take photos freely without paying a camera charge.

Gorgeous floor! All tiles.

I will do a separate post on these pieces of art.

Back outside and there is another Carrington sculpture The Ship of Craner.

Trying to convey how narrow this street can be.

Then back by San Felipe and up the side street to San Jose, which was right under our noses on previous occasions.

San Jose

John wants some artistic shots of the square. I must say it looks good.

Up another unfamiliar street and find a square and (yet another) market.

A little narrow.

By now it is time for a refreshing cerveza and people watching.

We decide we really should do the most famous museum in the city since Guanajuato played a big part in Mexican Independence. So we head back up.

The Alhondiga de Granaditas in Guanajuato is a historical building, monument and regional history and art museum built between 1798 and 1809. Alhondiga means “grain storehouse or market”, and the building originally housed a large grain and seed storehouse, or granary.

In 1810, the building became a fortress for Spanish troops and loyalist leaders and the site of the first major victory over the Spanish. Under the command of Miguel Hidalgo, a local miner by the name of Jose de los Reyes Martinez, nicknamed El Pipila, tied a large stone to his back to deflect bullets and breached the Spanish defenses by burning down the fortress doors. See El Pipila in the first of this post.

I thought the back of this was gorgeous until I saw the front.

Hidalgo’s troops were victorious, and a statue and monument to honor El Pipila was erected on a hillside overlooking Guanajuato. 

There are gorgeous murals that will be featured on  a Monday Mural edition.

We sat in a cafe beside the Theatre and people watched. 

Being serenaded "Imagine".

We then “had” to take more photos of the theatre and the Plaza La Paz.

Back to the hotel to pack.

We went back to the Hotel San Diego for dinner. It is warm and cozy. We split the prosciutto and melon as it was so good last night and then we both had spaghetti.


Up early and planned on breakfast at our hotel but it doesn't start until 8 AM so we went out and couldn't find anything open. Ended up at OXXO ( read 7/11) and got yogurt and machine coffee.

Checked out around 8:45 and a good thing as their internet was down so it took forever to get our credit card charge processed. Bell boy got us a taxi and off to the bus terminal. As always we left on time with ETN.

Click here for views of our hotel. Once we checked in we went for a stroll. It is fun when you know a city and can just wander not worrying that you are missing the sights.

Peeking through the doors of this restaurant.

We head into the market, click here, you must to see this huge market that sells everything.

From there we strolled back to the hotel.

Outside the University music building near the theatre.

For dinner we walk over to Morales Hotel where we stayed last month. Their restaurant is excellend and very reasonable. We both have steak.


After a leisurely buffet breakfast on the 7th floor of our hotel we set out. I must have had three or four glasses of the green juice, eggs cooked to order, fresh fruit and pastries.

Outside our hotel.

This is just the highlight as it was a full day, click here for the details.

John with his friends.

A stop into the Journalism Museum click here for more.

We are now on a mission to find a small square we had seen last month.

This area specializes in medical training equipment/

Success we sit and relax.

Back our "our" square.

Time old question when travelling - what do you want for dinner. John is engrossed in a movie so I suggest that I will cross the square and get Burger King!! I know, but don't judge us, we've been travelling for two months and sometimes that is all you want. It is our first "American" fast food (not counting McDonald's for breakfast one morning last month) since we left home.

We go out for a stroll as darkness falls. Mexicans are amazing they are all out relaxing in the many squares.

We notice that barricades are being set up in several squares and wonder what is going on. We see this sign for the 474th anniversary of the city so assume that there will be celebrations on Sunday.

Thousands of chairs set up in the square near the theatre.

We awake and look outside all the streets are closed off and people are heading into the squares. I took these from our window. John also noticed that most people were dressed very modestly in white and many women had mantillas on their heads.

I zoomed in on the square where the chairs were set up last night.

A mantilla is a lace or silk veil or shawl worn over the head and shoulders, often over a high comb called a peineta, popular with women in Spanish countries. It is now particularly associated as a pious religious practice among women in the Roman Catholic Church, worn as a Christian headcovering. I remember wearing one growing up for church.

After our buffet breakfast we head out to investigate. Is this a Mass being said for a special feast day?
We have to go through a metal detector, women on one side, men on the other to access the area.

We notice the many volunteers controlling the seat assignments, many medical staff handing out water and more constantly collecting garbage. Still not sure, people are singing hymns and have prayerbooks.

Puzzled we keep walking and come across a church that had not been open on previous visits.

People keep arriving.

Photo shoot.

We continue aimlessly debating what the gathering could mean. We're back at the chair sculptures.

Back around and we walk through the market again.

Back to the cordoned area and back through security. We joke about having a beer in the theatre bar and watching the service not really thinking it would be possible.
Yikes, it's open and we score a table.

We can see the television screens and suddenly realize they are doing group baptisms in swimming pools segregated by sex.

We decide to go back to the hotel before this service is over. It was not easy getting by the baptismal pools.

 Hundreds of men lined up.

The women lining up/

We spend the afternoon reading, watching TV and napping. it was sunset when we headed back out. This light only lasted a minute.

Shop window.

We wandered into this church.

Then we went back to Hotel Morales for dinner.


Buffet breakfast and then we checked out and the bellboy took our bags across the square to hail a cab for us. We know our way to the bus terminal and this guy took us on a joy ride and over charged us. Oh well, first time.

Click here for more photos of the drive and our condo.

We have 2 balconies one on each floor.  We are a couple of blocks from the office in a very convenient location with all amenities at our door. Huge grocery store, fast food, restaurants, hair salon and spas, swimming pool and bus stop.

After getting the grand tour we head out for a beer right outside our door.

Into the mall to pick up groceries.

Dinner was cheese and baguette, enjoyable after eating out all week.


Got much needed laundry done and went out early afternoon to walk to the marina. This area is full of restaurants. Very nice. Covered 9,800 steps today.

Neptune was here the last time we were in 94.

We have a light lunch of pork leg and Argentine sausage tacos with salad.

His and hers?

Everyone raved about the chicken from this place in our complex so we give it a try.

Perfect for dinner.


I head into the mall and find a salon to get my hair cut. It is not like Mazatlan where I can find a place for $50 pesos and just get my hair cut. This is a "salon" where they wash my hair and I get a thirty minute head/neck massage. If you know me you know I have no patience for any of this.
Hair cut and I am poorer by $500 pesos with tip!!!

We plan on taking the bus into town but waited and waited (very unusual) so we took a cab $100 pesos.
This is our first time in Centro since 1994 and nothing is the same. 10,800 steps covered.

A church we quickly checked out. This is a sneak preview I will save photos for a more detailed post.

They've had a couple of hurricanes which led to rebuilding. The changes are great along the Malecon and it is now a pedestrian mall.

Not so great to be surrounded by tourists and also realizing that there are two gigantic cruise ships in town. These are real tourists, shirts open and snapping up tacky souvenirs in the shops lining the street. The bars are packed.

So far the changes are mostly good.


 Tourists posong with entertainers.

Zocalo in front of church.

We haven't been around real tourists since we've been in Mexico and the church is packed with cruise ship people with their tags.

We stop and enjoy sitting on the malecon.

We are amused as the malecon now stretches down past Rio Cuale. We remember when you had to ford the stream.

Now it gets ugly. This is Daiquiri Dick's. Back in the early 80s this seemed so quaint and far out of town. Then in the 90s it had expanded.  And now it is huge and stuck between shops and beach bars.

From this point on we just shake and heads and wonder how anyone could enjoy all this closeness. Even Waikiki is not this crowded.
We are very happy we are staying down where we are.

We stroll back and grab a cab $120 pesos and pick up dinner ingredients at Mega. We then stop at the pedicure place to make an appointment but they can take us both right away.

Linking up at Photo Friday.

Pierced Wonderings

1 comment:

  1. Beautiful shots. I think the seahorse sculpture's my favourite.


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