The bus trip from Morelia to Guanajuato was amazing. So much water (lakes & reservoirs), mountains, hills, agriculture and at the end....a city in the desert. But....our first impressions of the city were not favourable. It seemed there were just so many people converging into the centre of a small city by car, bus, by foot, by donkey...and all were surrounded by steep hillsides stacked with colourful house on top of colourful house. I think they call this "transition"!
Amazing what a good nite sleep in a beautiful casita 15 minutes outside of the city centre can do for one's perspective! We awoke to a cacophony of sounds which we grew to love more each day - birds, donkeys, dogs, dogs and oh did I say dogs! Guanajuato is definitely a city of dogs- on and off leash.
Our casita was on the same property as the owners residence, (a charming couple from California), surrounded by cactus, bouganvillia and trees. Both the casa and casita were architecturally designed in Santa Fe style and lovingly decorated with colourful Mexican tiles and art. We felt so lucky to have discovered such a beautiful spot so close to downtown and all the action yet so quiet.
Inside was simple, but so comfy...
Our friend and guard dog - Bella!
Guanajuato was founded on silver mining and today there are still a number of operating mines. One of these was located just above us operated by a Canadian company and each evening we were privy to a number of underground explosions in their continued lust for silver.
Our dining view was of two defunct silver mines on the hillside; one from the 15th century and the other 17th century. These are incredible bastions of stonework that we enjoyed cada dia (every day). Where in the world can you drink your morning coffee looking at history! So fortunate.
Guanajuato is a colonial city extraordinaire. From the many churches to the elaborate architecture of the university to the opulent Teatro Juarez - we loved them all. In fact, on our final evening we were treated to a free concert in the Teatro amid all the adornments. Incredible acoustics !
Some other highlights were the Museo de Pueblo which housed a number of art pieces and murals by Jose Chavez Morado. Jose was one of the next generation of Mexican mural painters in the Diego Rivera style. Stunning works!
Proportion of murals we have seen - absolutely amazing works.
Speaking of Diego, we spent a couple of hours in the home where he was born and lived to about age 6 . It is filled with some of his very early works, commissioned works and later works also. I was so excited to be seeing his works in person! Sadly, we were not allowed to take any photos of his works.
We also visited the Museo of Mummies which I found very creepy. These were bodies exhumed from the cemetery on the street above as the families could no longer pay for their plots, or no one knew who they were and more space was required for those who had money. This took place beginning in the 1940's and continued until as recently as the 70's! There were also many mummified babies that I found quite distasteful. BUT....the Mexican folk love it and take many many pictures of themselves and their children (living ones), beside the mummies. Very very creepy to this gal!
On our last evening downtown we stumbled upon a VW rally paralyzing both auto and foot traffic. There were so many VW's from different eras; some original, many customized. Sadly the heavens opened up, the wind gained momentum and the downtown cleared of people and VW's before a true appreciation could be realized. Another time perhaps...
At the end of our 5 day visit, we were quite sad to be moving onward. Quite a turn around from our initial impression!
A few random parting pics!
Ah Mexico - A VW in every driveway...
Yes yet another outstanding church!
Best meal of our entire trip!
Next stop - our last on this adventure. Mexico City!