Thursday, February 4, 2016

Semana de siete -San Miguel de Allende

January 2016 - San Miguel de Allende Mexico

There are no stop signs or traffic lights in San Miguel. Everyone takes their turn. There are a couple of stop signs in the roundabout but we still not sure what the rules of engagement are.

Garbage is picked up Monday, Wednesday and Friday. A far cry from Toronto's every other week pickup.

I have a washing machine in the house but no dryer. I hang the clothes and cannot believe how quickly they dry.


Still a little chilly, especially in the mornings so we are putting off our day trip to Dolores Hidalgo.
Spent the morning writing blogs and booking our bus tickets to Guanajuato for February 7 when we will leave SMA.

Forgot to show you our delicious strawberries!!

Headed to Centro around 1 PM. John waiting for the bus.

Another very bumpy ride!

We decided to go for tacos.

The plate of toppings.

Like this place because we can get flour tortillas.

Wandering around, looking in the shops. These were $50 pesos but I found some for $35 pesos.

Headed to San Miguel hoping to get some additional photos but it was closed. However this chapel, beside it was open, which hadn't been the other day.

More poking in shops. This had nice glass but not quite what I'm looking for.


A coolish start to the day but then we sat out reading our books until around 4 PM when we got cleaned up and headed downtown.

We scouted out some shops and will come back on Saturday to buy the shot glasses we selected.

This place was plastered with signs saying "no photos" but we didn't see them immediately.

Sunset cocktails and dinner. I prefer the Rosewood.

Dinner downstairs.

Fuzzy picture of John's fajitas.

My chicken milanese.

After dinner we strolled around the plaza. Everyone was out.

The oldest part of the town is the square, established in 1555 and home to one of the most incredible landmarks in all of Mexico, the Parish Church of San Miguel.

A couple of police officers grabbing a snack.

Even mariachis need a break.

As we came back around the square we noticed a huge crowd assembling. it was a  "Callejoneadas" performed before or after a wedding. Bride and groom along with guests stroll through the callejones, drinking and singing along with mariachis.

I spoke to a woman, from Phoenix, who said it was her cousin's wedding festivities. Remember, only civil weddings are legal in Mexico and they had done the legal part. This was the religious celebratory affairs. Saturday  they would have a church service.

What a delight to see!!!

A mojiganga (pronounced: mo-he-gang-ga) is a giant puppet also used as sculpture or a grand scale design element for a large event.

The Mojigangas of San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, trace their origin to the tradition of The Giants (Los Gigantes) of Spain.

The bride and groom then led their guests through the streets accompanied by a decorated donkey dispensing shots of tequila. More dancing puppets appeared.

John managed to get the "ass-end" of the donkey!!


We headed to Centro by bus and then walked to Buen Dia for breakfast based on John's research. What a delightful place off the beaten track and without the "lululemon" crowd.
Click here for more photos of our meal.

OOPS before we ate we bought some glasses we had found last night.

And spotted a 15th birthday photo shoot.

AND found the Art Walk, only managed to snap a photo before I was being dragged off to breakfast or given the offer to meet John later here.

Following obediently into Buen Dia.

Entertaining the line up at the ATM.

this gentleman explained how he created  this image. It is five shots and he had to climb on the roof of a building overlooking the Jardin.

There really is a blue rinse crowd in SMA! I know I should have cropped the photo but who has time!!!

Seriously? Are you not sick of photos of this church?

We strolled back and decided to go to the Arts and Crafts show tomorrow.


After bacon and eggs and a Skype call to family we took our usual bus down to the Institute Allende.

Click here for lots more photos of our day!

Mural inside the restaurant where we stopped for refreshments.

Random photos as we stroll through town.

We find ourselves at Parque Juarez where some artists are holding a show.

Strolling through the peaceful park we can hear mariachis playing somewhere.

It so happens that February 2 is considered the first day of spring and there is a huge plant sale taking place in the park.

From the park we get a taxi and do some grocery shopping at Mega. This Mega doesn't just sell food.

McDonald's ice cream.

Statue in the round-about.


We walk over to Mega and get a cab to the bus station. It costs $48 for two tickets to Dolores Hidalgo about forty km away.

This is one of several altars at the bus station, I'm glad I'm not superstitious!!

Aboard, John tracks our trip.

We took a Pegasso bus and it didn't go to the main bus terminal but it was in the general vicinity of the centre of town.

Dolores Hidalgo is a compact town with a pretty, tree-filled plaza, a relaxed ambience and an important history. It has acquired pilgrimage status for Mexicans; the Mexican independence movement began in earnest in this small place. At 5am on September 16, 1810, Miguel Hidalgo, the parish priest, rang the bells to summon people to church earlier than usual and issued the Grito de Dolores, also known as the Grito de Independencia. His precise words have been lost to history but their essence was 'Death to bad government and the gachupines!' (Gachupines was a derisive term for the Spanish-born overlords who ruled Mexico.)

We weaved our way through the vendors on the sidewalks selling everything from fruits and vegetables to underwear.

There was an elderly woman waiting outside this florist who looked at me like I was a madwoman for taking this photo.

It is always easy to find the town square, just look for the church steeples.

First sight, ice cream carts circle the square selling every imaginable flavour. We get samples from the one on the right, we'll be back to see him later.

There is Hidalgo shouting his cry to Independance.

 Isn't she lovely?

Espagueti a la Cheez Weez, nope not for me, since I have never, ever had cheese whiz!!!

A church...

Another one...

And another...

 Relaxing in the square.

We find a lovely place for lunch with great hamburgers.

We step out and there is a museum, Casa Hidalgo, even at $30 pesos not worth the visit. Three small rooms, you can't just walk through, even though the guide doesn't speak English.

After a sour taste in his month from the Casa John decided we must have ice cream.

Dolores Hidalgo is famed for their nieves or ice creams, all homemade and sold from carts that come out every day and set up in the town square, which is bordered on one side by the magnificent Parroquia de Nuestra Señora de los Dolores.

Our guy was happy to provide samples of avocado, coffee, pistachio, tequila and we finally settled on cups of coffee and mango.
Some of the choices are corn, cheese, shrimp, octopus, chicharron or fried pork skin.

We find a seat in the shade and happily eat our ice cream.

Next we visit the church, I'll post those separately.

John took this from the stairs looking out onto the square. Click on the picture for a larger view.

From there we go to the Bicentennial Museum.

By the entrance there is a bronze replica of the Dolores Bell and a mural portraying Hidalgo's famous Cry of Independence; upstairs there are documents, photos, and prints in an outstanding exhibition space.

John, determined to bring liberation to the Mexicans along side Hidalgo and Allende. Maybe they'll honour him with a city named after him?

We simply stroll after that.

 I wonder if any of my girlfriends would like an apron like this?

We find the bus station, it is 4 PM and there is a bus back at 4:20 so we catch it.

We get the front seats so we get some photos.


The gardener arrived, did laundry, thought about going out, the cleaning lady arrived, we continued to enjoy the garden. Made orange juice.

Never mind, we'll just relax right here.

And watch  the birds.

And catch a hummingbird!


Another gorgeous morning in the garden.

Is this not a picture of decadence?

We headed out on a mission to find the Mercado de Artesanias.

First stop.

This man is taking down the cross I selected for Karen. I also bought the Frida blue wings just below his elbow for me. Frida crazy!!

Milagros are small metal religious charms found in many areas of Latin America, especially Mexico and Peru. The word “Milagro” means “miracle”. These small charms, often depicting arms, legs, praying people, farm animals and a wide range of other subjects are typically nailed or pinned to crosses or wooden statues of various saints like the Virgin Mary or Christ, sacred objects, pinned on the clothing of saint statues, or hung with little red ribbons or threads from altars and shrines. They are also carried for protection and good luck.

Not many people out, no one hassles you.

Looking up we see this hotel. More later.

Just around the corner we find a huge world of crafts!!

 And it goes on and on!!

John knew how much I wanted a catrina and had bought a metal one in Mazatlan. Logic being easier to transport and also could hang on the wall.

But he knew I really wanted a porcelain one, the traditional style.

La Calavera Catrina ('Dapper Skeleton', 'Elegant Skull') is a 1910–1913 zinc etching by famous Mexican printmaker, cartoon illustrator and lithographer José Guadalupe Posada. The image depicts a female skeleton dressed only in a hat befitting the upper class outfit of a European of her time.She is offered as a satirical portrait of those Mexican natives who, Posada felt, were aspiring to adopt European aristocratic traditions in the pre-revolutionary era. She in particular has become an icon of the Mexican Día de muertos, or Day of the Dead.
Mine is the largest version of the couple on the bench seen below (small and medium), however he has a bunch of roses in his hands.

Just a sneak peak of the Casa de los Soles. More photos coming soon on a Monday.

We end up at the food section of the Ignacio Ramirez market.

 We head back towards the centre of town for lupper, lunch and supper around 4 PM. Our choice is Bhaji's an Indian restaurant promising "great British curry". We are curry fans so had to try this out.

Vegetarian appetizers, onion bhaji, potato and cauliflower pakoras and samosas. Great sauces were served. I prefered the samosas as I found the others to be a little too deeply fried and soggy in the middle.

Madras curry on right and ginger chili, both with chicken, hot!!!

So ends another week!!

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  1. What can I say Jackie? But AMAZING!! Such a brilliant place to visit. Weddings, birthdays , Art and fabulous colours all around. For my ice cream I would have Pistachio for definite. My favourite., Loving all the little shops and the fabulous architecture. Thanks for sharing. x

    1. Thanks, Anne, you have summed it up perfectly. BTW I am sending your postcards to a friend in Canada to mail as they never make it from Mexico!!

  2. So much to see... your posts make me miss the sun. And they make me HUNGRY!

  3. WOW -- so much to see. The colors, the food, the crafts. And I'm love with your garden. What a super place.

  4. Such amazing photos. The gorgeous produce makes me long for warmer months and the flowers! The bench is a thing of beauty and there's so much to see I'm not sure I'd know where to look!

  5. What a great trip! So much to do and see. I love curry so I'd have to stop at that restaurant too!

  6. Wonderful photos! San Miguel de Allende is one of the favorite towns of a good friend and he's always raving about it. Lots of ex-pats there.

  7. Great and colorful photos--so much good food, art, and fun. Looks like you re having an incredible time. ;-)
    Aloha, Deb from Kahakai Kitchen


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