This morning we had a mysterious start to our day because our hotel room has no exterior facing windows so it was difficult to just what time it was without checking the clock. Finally I got up to use the bathroom just before seven and in the process spurred everyone into action. We got dressed and walked into town to look at all the Dia de los Muertos decorations without the crowds, check out the historic buildings, and get a little site seeing in before we leave in a few hours.
The churches were massive and quite spectacular, the photo below is from the Catedral de Guadalajara. Boy does God ever have a bunch of nice homes, I suppose it vindicates my career, invest in real estate! Since it was early the only things we could get into were the churches but that was fun and we felt a little less cheated that we were spending so little time in that most interesting of cities.
We returned to our hotel to clean up and get our packing done before finding breakfast. My slightly dodgy belly is still a little bit of a concern though much improved so I had fruit and yogurt while Francene ate a mountain of eggs and Araceli had a pile of chilaquiles. Although I was a little jealous I was concerned about the upcoming four hour journey.
This time we decided against hiring a private car not only because of the expense but we knew that realistically we wouldn't be stopping on the way. Therefore we opted to take the bus. Now I know the idea of taking a four hour bus ride in Mexico sounds scary but for forty dollars you get a new luxury touring bus with recliners, massive leg room, onboard individual entertaining, free wireless internet and a snack. It felt like a bargain to us and the suspension was so smooth that it was like being on a cruise ship.
When we stopped in Guanajuato it didn't look that exciting but it was only the bus terminal. Once we collected our bags and found a cab we wended our way into town. First we went through new construction with lots of big box type shops until we passed through a small tunnel and it got less commercial. After another tunnel the roads narrowed and the traffic increased. Though another tunnel and the streets became cobblestones and the buildings we looming above us. It is so European here! The city limits signage so it doesn't distract from the architecture. There are churches and theaters all over the town and each is an impressive monument. We were and still are so excited to be here.
Our hotel is right in the middle of everything in the historic district and the rooftop patio had wonderful views. There is no air conditioning in our building but the high today was seventy-five degrees and the low tonight is supposed to be fifty-five with almost no humidity. It is such a welcome relief!
So after soaking in our new accomodations we headed into town. First we wandered aimlessly and kept finding all kinds of little gems of buildings, streets, and alleys. Then we decided to find dinner and between a guidebook in Francene's bag and Araceli's sharp eyes we found a little place at the top of a lot of narrow winding steps. It was a house that was converted to a restaurant and we didn't really know what kind of food to expect but the view was amazing and we were hungry. When it turned out to be Italian we were all find with that and happily ate our various pasta dishes. It was delicious and we had an ideal vantage point from which to watch the sun set over the city.
After dinner we wandered some more, explored and took pictures. There was a candy shop we passed earlier and a walk down an alley deposited us right at its doors so we went in. It's like the Mexican version of Willy Wonka's factory. They offered us samples of so many little treats it was had to decide what to buy. Of course we say we're buying for our friends and family back home but they may end up with the stuff we didn't like so much. It will still be good and they will be none the wiser.
Even though we sampled a bit of candy we also wanted ice cream so that was our next mission. We found a little helado shop and both Araceli and I wanted the same flavor, pinon, pine nut. It was in a fruit base and was delicious. All this time we continued to wander and after a series of turns came to a tunnel. When I asked my companions if we should take the obvious alley back to the hotel or explore the tunnel the latter was the resounding choice. It is crazy, there are intersections in the tunnel! After quite a bit of walking we came out the other side and it was only another five minutes to get back to the hotel.
There was no fighting for the shower, we're quite civilized about that, and soon we were all clean, well-fed, and generally content. So I loaded the day's pictures and sat down to share all of our adventures. Tomorrow we explore more of the city and I am like a kid before Christmas!
Canon 1D X, Canon 16-35/f2.8L Mark II
16mm, f2.8, 1/60 @ 2500 ISO