Friday, February 12, 2016

Semana de Ocho SMA to Guanajuato

February 2016 - San Miguel de Allende/Guanajuato/Leon Mexico

Yes, we're on the move again this week. And I hope you're in for a lengthy read it was a busier week than I realized.


The morning was cloudy so we decided to play it by ear. It soon cleared up and we sat outside reading. We then caught the bus downtown, armed with a package to be shipped home.
It ends up costing me as much to mail as it did to buy the items!!!

After our stop at FedEx we went for pizza.
Antigua Trattoria Romana click here for their menu.

After that meal we rolled home and whiled away the afternoon reading in the garden.

I forgot the gardener was coming today so was surprised to hear John talking to someone.

We (again) enjoyed the sunshine and heat outside, it is more comfortable than the house!

We headed downtown late afternoon on a very crowded bus. I am amazed at how young the girls are with their little babies.

Click here for a  detailed post about the toy museum. This was definitely worth the admission of $30 pesos.

The museum is bright and cheerful and has a gorgeous rooftop terrace.

Strolling back to the Jardin.

We then sat at the best people watching terrace and had tequila with a beer chaser.

The man in the red shirt was "directing" the band.

Fabulous music coming from further down the terrace.

However, in this guy's case, John pays him to go away.

As dusk approached we walked over to dinner.

Dinner at Vivali's, click here for more photos.

We walked back to the Jardin but it was quiet.

Our last day here in SMA and the chilliest so far. We did laundry, packed and generally got organized.
No big plans. We decide to head out around 5 PM and have pizza back at Antigua after we do a couple of errands.

After a big breakfast and final preparations we take a taxi to the bus station for our short ride to Guanajuato our destination for three nights.
It is mucho frio this morning! Down in the 40s F or a low of 7 C with a high of 21 C.

Amusing ourselves as we wait.

Luxury travel 24 reserved seats with your own TV and headphones, provided!! Bathroom on board.

Baskets along the road.

You have to love bus travel, within five minutes of arriving you have your luggage and are in a taxi.

Guanajuato (Spanish pronunciation: [gwanaˈxwato]) is a city and the capital of the state of the same name. It is in a narrow valley, which makes its streets narrow and winding. Most are alleys that cars cannot pass through, and some are long sets of stairs up the mountainsides. Many of the city’s thoroughfares are partially or fully underground. The historic center has numerous small plazas and colonial-era mansions, churches and civil constructions built using pink or green sandstone.

Coming through the tunnels, click here for a great Youtube video.

Our hotel and room. click here for more.

Our room overlooks the Jardin Union the perfect spot to be located in the heart where every town comes alive, at the zocalo.
This square is unique. It’s a triangle! Also, rather than cobblestone or paved paths, the wide walkways that encircle it are made of shiny, decorative tile laid in pretty patterns.

Excited we get organized and head out. Perfect location. Click here for our first photos.
At the end of the Jardin Union is the Theatre Juarez.

It is Sunday so the streets are lined with artists and vendors.

Just behind that railing on the right is a staircase down to the tunnels.

A bazaar! John drags me out.

Gasps of wonderment as we first see the magnificent basilica, many, many more photos to come.

3 PM and we're hungry, but not a good spot to pick. We shared a club sandwich which had *gasp* cheese whiz on it!!

Fueled, if nothing else, we stop into Radio Shack and get a three prong adaptor for my laptop. Love old hotels, but they weren't built for today's technology.

San Felipe

Everywhere we turned, the buildings were painted in vivid shades.

We retraced our steps to our taxi drive from the bus to see the life-sized statue of Don Quixote de la Mancha and Sancho Panza at the bottom of a rock cliff.
As can be seen from the photo above they are surrounded by brightly coloured houses.

Turned the corner and there he is again, in gorgeous bronze glory outside his museum. We'll be back.

Oh yeah and there is his creator Cervantes hidden by the tree. The city is largely a tribute to the book’s author Miguel Cervantes, hence ‘Cervantino Festival,’ and by all appearances, Don Quijote is the city’s unofficial patron saint.

Back around Jardin Union and John is being creative.

It is also Superbowl and it is almost 5 PM so we need a big screen and we find it at Le Choperia the same chain we had found in San Miguel de Allende,

Super sized for Super Bowl.

University town, university bar, Super Bowl most order the keg.


Here is our day in much more detail.

We come down for breakfast and decide to book for the troubadour evening tour and we chat with a couple from California as we decide whether we should extend out stay here.
After our included breakfast ( blah, nothing to write home about) we decide we will stay a couple more days here and skip Leon. Made our reservation for the extra nights.
We also bought tickets for this evening's Wandering Minstrels at 9 PM.

We head out. First stop to buy our bus tickets for Friday from Guanajuato to Guadalajara.

We found these statues of Leonora Carrington (6 April 1917 – 25 May 2011) popping up all over town. They were erected for the International Cervantino Festival.
The Palmist

Serpiente Voladora

John steps down a tunnel passageway to see what it is like.

We check out a hotel.

Gato de la Noche or Cat of the Night

Warm enough to take off our sweaters.

Waiting for the city tour guide to show up. There is a link above to detailed photos of that.

First stop - hacienda of torture

Next is a magnificent church The La Valenciana or San Cayetano church absolutely deserving of its own post.

Silver was discovered here in 1548. At San Ramón , you can descend via steps into a mine shaft to a depth of 60m (note: not for claustrophobics).

John did the climb down.

Glad we had the Mummies Museum included and we didn't waste our time otherwise.
The Mummies of Guanajuato are a number of naturally mummified bodies interred during a cholera outbreak around Guanajuato in 1833. The mummies were discovered in a cemetery in Guanajuato, making the city one of the biggest tourist attractions in Mexico.

A chilly stop at La Pipila. I let John get the pictures.

The white building is the University and the Basilica is very close to our hotel.

Finally we are dropped back in the tunnel near our hotel and we change and go to dinner as we have tickets for the Minstrels at 9 PM. We chose a restaurant close by and share a salad and both have spaghetti.

 As always there is music around the square.

We head out for the Minstrels but it is freezing out, 8 C and even though we are bundled up we decide that it is not worth it.

Theatre Juarez lit up, we plan on visiting it tomorrow.

Nobody is willing to face the cold.

Tuesday - 1 theatre, 2 churches and 3 museums

We enjoy the morning relaxing in our room, it is a cold and overcast morning. We head out around noon to visit the theatre a few steps away from the hotel.

Not matter where you are the stores are gearing up for Valentine's Day.

The Teatro Juarez is one of the most architecturally stunning buildings in Guanajuato, the main entrance is straight from ancient Rome while the flamboyant interior is Moorish inspired.

It was built between 1873 and 1903 and inaugurated by the dictator Porfirio Díaz, whose lavish tastes are reflected in the plush red-and-gold interior. 

We then head over to the Don Quixote museum, free on Tuesdays and totally deserving of its own post as well.
The Quijote Iconographic Museum as it is properly called.

Remember the other day we found the immense statues of Don and his sidekick Sancho. The museum is just down the street.

We had to wonder why Don Quixote is so dominantly visible in Guanajuato, a long way from his birthplace of Spain.

 The Chevalier de la Triste Figura (Knight of the Sad Countenance)has achieved universal narrative with its adventures, its dialogue and story, as well as the various branches of the fine arts through its somewhat realistic and prototypal human kindness.

For these reasons and in order to pay tribute to such a witty character, the Iconographic Museum of Quixote was inaugurated in 1987 in the heart of Guanajuato.


The old 18th. century European-style building keeps a vast collection of over 800 pieces including oil paintings, acrylics, prints, bronze sculptures, handicrafts, ceramics, and much more.

The central theme of almost all of the pieces is the figure of Don Quixote, alone or accompanied by one of the characters in the book. Here they are, Don, Cervantes and Sancho!!

The art is distributed among 17 rooms and courtyards that display this cultural tradition in permanent exhibits accompanied by information on each of the pieces.

John and I did not have much knowledge of this character or his creator but we were certainly intrigued after this visit.

There is a lovely coffee shop where we relaxed.

The incredible University! You can see a Carrington sculpture down in the right.

Tamborilera outside the university by Carrington.

Another Carrington sculpture The Ship of Craner (cranes).

I think this is my favourite Inventora del Atol.

Peeking over the top of a gallery featuring more of her work. We plan on visiting this.

We visit the People's Museum, again no photos allowed and they followed you like a hawk.

We reach the Diego Rivera Museum.

"When art is true, it is one with nature. This is the secret of primitive art and also of the art of the masters—Michelangelo, Cézanne, Seurat, and Renoir. The secret of my best work is that it is Mexican.."

Rivera and his twin brother were born in the house in 1886 (Carlos died at the age of two) and lived here until the family moved to Mexico City six years later. The museum's ground floor is a recreation of the Rivera family home, furnished with 19th-century antiques.


The labyrinth of upper floors exhibit a permanent collection of his original works and preliminary sketches (completed for some of his famous murals in Mexico City).

No photos allowed but we managed a few. A nude of Frida Kahlo.

\john captured these papier mache dolls of Diego and Frida.

Dream of a Sunday Afternoon in Alameda Park (1947–48)
Rivera revisits the theme of Mexican history in this crowded, dynamic composition, replete with meaningful portraits, historical figures, and symbolic elements. Conceived as a festive pictorial autobiography, Rivera represents himself at the center as a child holding hands with the most celebrated of Guadalupe Posada's creations: the skeletal figure popularly known as "Calavera Catrina." He represents himself joining this quintessential symbol of Mexican popular culture and is shown to be protected by his wife, the painter Frida Kahlo, who holds in her hand the yin-yang symbol, the Eastern equivalent of Aztec duality.

Scenes as we leave the museum.

A church - as we head down towards the market.

Tunnel parking

Strolled back to the hotel and put our feet up before heading out to dinner right here on the Jardin.

I had to laugh, I was so excited a) I'm Irish - mashed potatoes b) love my veggies and was promised spinach. A) not bad a little gluey potatoes but B) seriously!!!

We step outside and the minstrels a re playing so we really didn't miss anything last night, and it is warmer tonight.


No particular plans today. We stop and buy our tickets for our Guadalajara to Puerto Vallarta section.
Then, decide on impulse, to take the noon tramcar tour, supposed to be 1.5 hours. Not worth it. We didn't leave until 12:15 , I know, horrifying, but to us A personalities it is.
Some pictures as we wait.

We do a quick tour around and head out of town and pass Hotel Santa Cecilia which we had passed on our tour the other day.

Donkeys in traffic.

We make a stop, and the guide goes on about we can have a break get a refreshment yadda yadda, we opt to stay on board and the driver does a detour as he drives a woman up the road and then comes back where we sit and sit. I finally catch the guide's eye, point rather pointedly at my watch and he stirs from his stupor to say 'andele".

We head back into town and take a tour through the tunnels which totally fascinate us.

We then go into the consulate are with unique looking homes.

Presa de la Olla (Dam of La Olla) Built in 1749 to supply fresh water to the town. You can rent a little boat. There's also a park and a great statue of Miguel Hidalgo casted in Italy inaugurated by President Porfirio Diaz in the early 1900's.

Back in town and we head to the market.

Please please!

John checking out a cantina.

Before we relax I drag John to check out another church San Roque.

The temple building dates from 1726 but the plaza itself is notable as the site of the Entremeses Cervantinos, the predecessor of the current Festival Internacional Cervantino. The plaza was chosen by director Enrique Ruelas to host an outdoor play in 1952, which as successful enough to become an annual tradition before it was replaced by the much larger festival in 1972.

 Enrique Ruelas

Finally he gets to sit.

We then decide we should check out a bar that is on the list of Top Ten must see.

Me, engaged in a bilingual conversation with a Mexican engineering student.

 A sneak preview of the murals.

Back to the hotel and we decide to go to the Hotel San Diego for dinner, a good choice as it had heaters and we sat right next to it.

We shared a delicious plate of prosciutto and melon and then a pizza with a good bottle of wine.

We stepped out and the troubadours were out entertaining the crowds, but it was a little chilly.

Weekend Cooking hosted by

Beth hosts Weekend Cooking where you can post anything food related.


  1. You're really enjoying yourself down there! Terrific shots!

  2. That was quite a post . Really maks me want to go there again.

  3. I must say, each photo is more gorgeous than the last. The food looks amazing and I love the sculptures. Oh and the colors and the lights at night ...

  4. Love that bright museum - most of them are so dim that they are gloomy. Cheers from Carole's Chatter!

  5. Great photos--I love all the color and sculptures everywhere you look. The theatre is gorgeous too. ;-)
    Deb from Kahakai Kitchen


This blog does not allow anonymous comments.